27 September 2010

The World to Come

Ben Ziskind knew that the million-dollar Chagall painting once hung in his family's home when he stole it, and he and his twin sister Sara know that they can't give it back. The history of the painting, and the writing tucked into the frame by a mysterious author known as The Hidden One are intertwined with the lives of the twins. From Russia, to New Jersey, and back again it is a story about the meaning of people in our lives, and finding whats been lost. While delving into the lives and heritage of the characters, Dara Horn explores folklore and history tying the power of art and storytelling together in this world, and the world to come.
As a little girl I used to worry what would happen after everyone in my family died. It was not that I was concerned about death, it was that my family is both Catholic and Jewish. Would we all go to the same place, or would I eternally be caught somewhere in the middle? Will I be alone? Where would my mom go, and would it be the same place as my dad, and would it be the same as my grandparents?
I grew up and realized that I had no control over it, so I shouldn't worry, because I can't live without these people. And of course when I am dead, that won't be a problem. Occasionally, I still get the tiny panic in my chest because no amount of logic can change love that will last long after I am gone.
The World To Come ruminates on the idea that there is a place before life and after death and it is the same for each and every person. There your own family would teach you what you needed for life, and then you would come and teach the next generation alongside them. It was such a beautiful thought that even if that isn't what comes next, it is soothing to someone who worries about being eternally separated because of a family with more than one set of beliefs.
Over Vitebsk 1915, Chagall

4 comments

  1. I had to tilt my head and tilt my netbook just to get a better view of your first photo. haha.

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  2. I really want to read this, why do i own so many unread books? I am going to ask Kyle to add it to our list on paperbackswap.com

    Oh and I wore the docs yesterday!...but I didn't get a pic/ :P

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