Professor Peter Filkins of Bard College at Simon's Rock will read from and discuss his translation of H.G. Adler's Holocaust novel "The Journey" at The Mount on Saturday. The reading will take place in the mansion's Gallery at 5 p.m., followed by a book signing and refreshments.
Filkins happened upon the German novel in a bookstore and discovered a powerful masterpiece that was unavailable to readers of English. He learned that Adler had survived both Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, and was well-known for his non-fiction studies of day-to-day life in the camps. But Adler's six novels about the Holocaust, highly praised by such writers as Heinrich Böll and Elias Canetti, languished in obscurity. Filkins has gone a long way toward reversing this literary injustice with his sensitive and critically acclaimed translation of "The Journey."
The novel follows the ordeal of the Lustig family as they are uprooted from their home and sent to live in the camps. Eventually all father, mother, aunt, and daughter are destroyed except the son, Paul, who, like Adler, must return alone to the world that allowed the unspeakable to happen. Never specifically mentioning the Holocaust, the camps, Nazis, or Jews, Adler portrays the unportrayable in a lyrical, haunting style that evokes the works of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.
Admission to the reading is $12 by advance reservation only. To make a reservation, or for more information, call The Mount at (413) 551-5111. To learn more about The Mount visit www.EdithWharton.org.