book cover of The Invisible Voice

The Invisible Voice

(2000)
A non fiction book by

 
 
The Invisible Voice: Meditations on Jewish Themes is a collection of essays by the Hungarian Jewish writer George Konrad. The 20 pieces printed here were written between 1985 and 1997. They include Konrad's thoughts on German collective guilt, assimilation, the situation of the Diaspora Jew and the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Konrad, who was born in 1933, was imprisoned in Budapest in 1956 for his political writings. There followed alternating periods of exile from and return to his native country, and in 1989, his writings again exerted a seminal influence on democratic movements in Eastern Europe, comparable with the influence of works by Vaclav Havel and Milan Kundera. Konrad's writing is distinguished by its dogged pursuit of moral questions about the extent of personal responsibility within a community, and the effects of social policy on individuals. Among the most interesting pieces in The Invisible Voice is Konrad's essay "On Jewish and Christian Reconciliation", in which he asserts that, "If these two religions want to live, they must take account of the two thousand years that have passed since biblical times, of everything people have done and written since then." This necessitates that: "Both must take account of a third spiritual authority," which Konrad equates with "the fundamental idea of human rights", though he denounces facile notions that are often attached to that term. "A human being must not submit his freedom of conscience to any human institution, neither state nor church," Konrad writes. "European experience has proved that the dignity of the human individual is an unvanquishable virtue." Such incisive thinking makes The Invisible Voice a very valuable and bracing book. --Michael Joseph Gross



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Paperback Editions

May 2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Invisible Voice: Meditations on Jewish Themes
Author(s): George Konrad, Peter Reich
ISBN: 0-15-601294-4 / 978-0-15-601294-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harvest Books
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