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Till Evening Falls

Megged`s novella, which we read with bated breath, takes place in the course of a single day in the narrator`s life, but it is a day of reckoning, in which the essence of his life and of his relationships with all those close to him, particularly his wife, surface in his mind. The narrator is a middle-aged man who has been forced to take early retirement from his position as clerk in charge of the bibliographical section of the municipal library, a typical antihero, a pathetic Gogolian character. His beautiful wife of thirty years suggests that he go out and spend some time in a cafי. Suspicious of her, he sets out to roam the streets of Tel Aviv. The physical trek turns into an emotional journey, interspersed with comic encounters with various characters and situations, and his experiences force him to confront his memories and the wretchedness of his existence.

The narrator commits a series of strange acts: he visits a house of mourning although he doesn`t even know the name of the deceased; he quarrels with a bus driver and is thrown off the bus; he enters an elegant restaurant in a shopping mall, interrupts his meal halfway through and leaves without paying; he crosses the road at a red light, which leads to an accident and his subsequent interrogation by the police. During his picaresque travels, he tries in vain to establish telephone contact with his wife, and when he returns home he discovers that she has gone to the hospital with his aged father who has suffered a fatal heart attack.

The story of the narrator`s life is not merely the story of an individual. Megged employs it as a means of examining some of the major issues preoccupying us on the Jewish-Israeli and the wider human levels, such as the tension between native-born Israelis and Holocaust survivors who arrived as penniless refugees, and the contrast between masculinity and femininity. These tensions are depicted in a new and surprising light.

Title Till Evening Falls
Writer's Last Name Megged
Writer's First Name Aharon
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 144pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ad Ha-Erev
  • “ Till Evening Falls is exquisitely funny... From misfortunes to catastrophes, this novel’s lover looks at his life and town in a funny way, giving us a beautiful sense of Tel Aviv. ”

    Le Monde
  • “ Megged seamlessly mingles the reality of an aimless jaunt with a wild imagination. Everything that transpires in Till Evening Falls is told alternatively with energy and softness, transporting us from the absurd to tragedy. ”