This literary masterpiece revives the ideological debates of the interwar period through the journal of a Romanian Jewish student caught between anti-Semitism and Zionism. Although he endures persistent threats just to attend lectures, he feels disconnected from his Jewish peers and questions whether their activism will be worth the cost. Spending his days walking the streets and his nights drinking and conversing with revolutionaries, zealots, and libertines, he remains isolated, even from the women he loves. From Bucharest to Paris, he strives to make peace with himself in an increasingly hostile world.For Two Thousand Years echoes Mihail Sebastian's struggles as the rise of fascism ended his career and turned his friends and colleagues against him. Born of the violence of relentless anti-Semitism, his searching, self-derisive work captures a defining moment in history and lights the way for generations to come-a prescient, heart-wrenching chronicle of resilience and despair, resistance and acceptance.
His prose is like something Chekov might have written - the same modesty, candour, and subtleness of observation -- Arthur Miller Philip O Ceallaigh's meticulous and vibrant translation restores to us the wry, bitterly intelligent, endlessly self-castigating yet dauntingly perceptive and prophetic voice of Mihail Sebastian. For Two Thousand Years is a masterful book charged with the tension and paranoia that preceded one of the bloodiest convulsions in the history of the 20th century, and the terrifying thing is, it could have been written yesterday, today, tomorrow -- Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins [Praise for Mihail Sebastian's Journal 1935-1944] Deserves to be on the same shelf as Anne Frank's Diary and to find as huge a readership -- Philip Roth A humane masterpiece -- Paul Bailey Times Literary Supplement Brilliantly haunting BBC History Moving, perceptive and sharply observed... the Journal is a valuable addition not just to the canon of wartime and holocaust literature, but to that of all humanity Literary Review
Mihail Sebastian was born in Romania in 1907 as Iosef Hecter. He worked as a lawyer and writer until anti-Semitic legislation forced him to abandon his public career. Having survived the war and the Holocaust, he was killed in a road accident early in 1945 as he was crossing the street to teach his first class. His long-lost diary, Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years, was published to great acclaim in the late 1990s.