Jonathan Fein On:
Verging on the Abyss by Jonathan Fein
“Verging on the Abyss” is a chapter from a novel in progress by Johnathan Fine, whose beautiful collection of short stories “Honorably Discharged”, was published in 2013. For writers and translators, language is not merely a tool, but also the building blocks of reality, where in order to retain the balance necessary for a stable existence, each word is carefully weighed. That is showed in particular in the situation in which the writer puts his protagonist in this story, as he walks the tightrope of transitions, at the airport, on the plane, on the frontier of language, moments before the encounter with a different language. With direct, precise prose and a sharp sense of humor, Fine captures a moment that is both very Israeli and very universal, taking the desire of the local to venture into the wide world on one hand, and on the other to bring the world to it, and tying it with the threads of literature at its best – expertly weaving all its various components and captivating the reader with the story, saving from the abyss.