This article touches upon the theme of delayed return: a familiar literary theme that is manifested in different languages, cultures, and periods; it usually involves a man returning to his home and wife after a prolonged absence during which he was presumed dead, while his wife's circumstances radically changed. S.Y. Agnon published two well-known works on the subject: And the Crooked Shall Be Made Straight (1912) and Fernheim (1949), which are the object of this study. This article approaches these two works in a comparative context from a genre analysis-a novella versus a short story-arguing that the subject matter sometimes dictates the choice of genre. Thus, the two delayed returns differ markedly. The novella form is well-suited to And the Crooked Shall Be Made Straight which places the devout protagonist, upon his delayed return, in a tragic dilemma, while Fernheim's is not a delayed return in the exemplary-archetypal sense.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Literature and Literary Theory