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The History of Love - Essay Example

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First name, Last name Professor/Lecturer’s Name Homework Date The History of Love In the novel The History of Love, Nicole Krauss manages to bring together romantic and mysterious elements into a story of love, loss, survival and identity. Well thought-out as a book-within-a-book, the novel carries within it three distinct prose works that comfortably nest inside each other…
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The History of Love
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"The History of Love"

Download file to see previous pages The novel has two main characters who also act as narrators of their specific sections. The first narrator is Leo Gursky, an 80year old Polish immigrant in New York. We are first introduced to Leo Gursky when he believes his life is coming to an end, living alone in a small apartment in Manhattan “I often wonder who will be the last person to see me alive. If I had to bet, I’d bet on the delivery boy from the Chinese takeout. I order in four nights out of seven. Whenever he comes, I make a big production of finding my wallet. He stands in the door holding the greasy bag while I wonder if this is the night I’ll finish off my spring roll, climb into bed, and have a heart attack in my sleep”(Krauss 3). He is scared of dying on a day when nobody has noticed him and says and believes he has to persuade himself of his existence by making himself noticeable. This drives him to mildly attention-seeking behavior like creating a disturbance by dropping his change in a shop or trying on shoes that he does not intend to buy. Gursky passes for a man without much of a life, but we later learn that he was once a man very rich in art and love. He was once in love with a woman called Alma back in Poland, but due to the chaos and tragedy of war while making his way to America, he is separated from his true love Alma who ends up marrying somebody else. Leo’s art is manifested when we are told of a novel he wrote in Poland, The History of Love, but entrusted it to his friend Zvi Litvinoff who later told him that it was lost. The second character is Alma Singer a fourteen year old girl living with her widowed mother, Charlotte and her brother. We later learn that Alma was named after the heroine of a book her father, David singer loved and that Leo Gursky’s book was not lost after all but it was published in Spanish in Chile and that’s how it ended up in the hands of David singer Charlottes’ husband. Alma’s mother is translating a novel called The History of love she was given by her husband from Spanish to English. Krauss’s novel centers on the book that was written by Leo in Yiddish, in which all the girls are named after his love Alma. According to Gursky, just the same way Eve was the first woman in the bible is the same way Alma will be the first girl (Krauss 38). As Alma grows up, she is determined to find the real life Alma whom she was named after. Her detective work spurred after a mysterious stranger sends her mum a letter requesting her to translate the Spanish version of “the history of love” into English. She sets out to bring back her mother into loving again and decides that the mysterious stranger who commissioned the translation of the history of love into English might be a love interest for her mother and she does sets to find out who the stranger could be. As the novel progresses, we start to get passages from Gursky's novel laid out within the Krauss’s novel. Krauss is able to connect the two levels of fiction - the novel within and the novel without. Gursky’s tone is a disappointed, dry voice while Alma's tone is more engaged and naive with most of her expedition written as a comedy. In the young Alma's story we find a charming girl emerging into adulthood ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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