Catalogue


Painted in words : a memoir /
by Samuel Bak ; foreword by Amos Oz.
imprint
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2001.
description
ix, 500 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0253340489 (cloth : alk. paper) 0253340480
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
personal subject
More Details
author
imprint
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2001.
isbn
0253340489 (cloth : alk. paper) 0253340480
catalogue key
4649621
 
Gift; Corey Keeble; Nov. 2006.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-08-01:
Painter Bak was born in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania, in 1933. As a child, he witnessed the occupation of his country by Russian troops at the outbreak of WW II, followed in 1941 by the murderous invasion of Nazi troops. He and his family shared the fate of the Jewish community of this vibrant center, sometimes called the "Jerusalem of Lithuania." Uprooted from his home, sequestered in a ghetto, Bak and his parents were eventually transferred to a labor camp. His father was killed in the final days of the war. He and his strong-willed and resourceful mother, to whom he remained deeply attached, were able at the end of the war to make their way to a displaced persons camp in Bavaria, and then, in 1948, to the newly established State of Israel. He seems not to have been happy there, and since 1993, lives near Boston. Bak as a child showed precocious artistic talent and was encouraged by his parents to develop his gifts. About his art, characterized since the mid-1960s by a kind of fantastic realism saturated with symbols and reminiscences of the Shoah, he is regrettably more circumspect. A valuable addition to the literature of the Holocaust. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. W. Cahn emeritus, Yale University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Painter Bak was born in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania, in 1933. As a child, he witnessed the occupation of his country by Russian troops at the outbreak of WW II, followed in 1941 by the murderous invasion of Nazi troops. He and his family shared the fate of the Jewish community of this vibrant center, sometimes called the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Uprooted from his home, sequestered in a ghetto, Bak and his parents were eventually transferred to a labor camp. His father was killed in the final days of the war. He and his strong-willed and resourceful mother, to whom he remained deeply attached, were able at the end of the war to make their way to a displaced persons camp in Bavaria, and then, in 1948, to the newly established State of Israel. He seems not to have been happy there, and since 1993, lives near Boston. Bak as a child showed precocious artistic talent and was encouraged by his parents to develop his gifts. About his art, characterized since the mid 1960s by a kind of fantastic realism saturated with symbols and reminiscences of the Shoah, he is regrettably more circumspect. A valuable addition to the literature of the Holocaust. General readers; lower -- division undergraduates through faculty." -- W. Cahn, emeritus, Yale University, Choice, September 2002
"Painter Bak was born in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania, in 1933. As a child, he witnessed the occupation of his country by Russian troops at the outbreak of WW II, followed in 1941 by the murderous invasion of Nazi troops. He and his family shared the fate of the Jewish community of this vibrant center, sometimes called the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Uprooted from his home, sequestered in a ghetto, Bak and his parents were eventually transferred to a labor camp. His father was killed in the final days of the war. He and his strong-willed and resourceful mother, to whom he remained deeply attached, were able at the end of the war to make their way to a displaced persons camp in Bavaria, and then, in 1948, to the newly established State of Israel. He seems not to have been happy there, and since 1993, lives near Boston. Bak as a child showed precocious artistic talent and was encouraged by his parents to develop his gifts. About his art, characterized since the mid 1960s by a kind of fantastic realism saturated with symbols and reminiscences of the Shoah, he is regrettably more circumspect. A valuable addition to the literature of the Holocaust. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty." -W. Cahn, emeritus, Yale University, Choice, September 2002
"Samuel Bak's vivid account of his childhood and youth is also a biography of much of his art, offering readers considerable insight into the origins of his creative vision even as they delight in his lively evocations of a vanished past." -Lawrence Langer, author of Admitting the Holocaust: Collected Essays"Painted in Words is a masterpiece, miles above hundreds of Holocaust memoirs, with an extraordinary diversity of its contents and astonishing insights into the soul of a child. A treat to read!" --Vera Laska, Associate Editor, New England Journal of History"Artist Samuel Bak, though not well-known in this country, is renowned in the USA, Israel, and Europe for his intricately painted Surrealist oils which explore his childhood memories of war-torn Vilna. . . .[This] memoir is humorous, moving and provides insights into Bak's artisticprocess . . . he has achieved his own stated aim of "rescuing from extinction" his friends and family who perished at the hands of the Nazis."--Jewish Chronicle, January 3, 2003________
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2002
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In Painted in Words artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories od his life - as a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland and the US.
Main Description
At my first sight of a painting by Samuel Bak, I had the keen sense that he was telling me stories with his brush. Now that at long last he has written this book, I find it no wonder that he has painted with his pen.... Among the tens and hundreds of books I have read about the pre-Shoah and post-Shoah period... Bak's book is unique. Despite being suffused with a sense of loss, horror, degradation, and death, it is ultimately a sanguine, funny book, full of the love of life, rocking with an almost cathartic joy. At times I found myself bursting out laughing... a marvelous ode, a colorful hymn to the forces of life, love, creation, and the joys of the senses. -- From the Foreword by Amos Oz In Painted in Words internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories of his life -- as a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps, and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. With gentle humor, the child prodigy of the faraway past and the accomplished artist of today engage in a spirited dialogue from which emerges a self-portrait of "The Artist as a Young -- and middle-aged and aging -- Survivor." The brilliance, vision, and virtuosity that Bak brings to his painting are equally in evidence in his writing. This deeply touching work is an important contribution to Holocaust literature and art history.
Main Description
At my first sight of a painting by Samuel Bak, I had the keen sense that he was telling me stories with his brush. Now that at long last he has written this book, I find it no wonder that he has painted with his pen.... Among the tens and hundreds of books I have read about the pre-Shoah and post-Shoah period... Bak's book is unique. Despite being suffused with a sense of loss, horror, degradation, and death, it is ultimately a sanguine, funny book, full of the love of life, rocking with an almost cathartic joy. At times I found myself bursting out laughing... a marvelous ode, a colorful hymn to the forces of life, love, creation, and the joys of the senses. -- From the Foreword by Amos OzIn Painted in Words internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories of his life -- as a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps, and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. With gentle humor, the child prodigy of the faraway past and the accomplished artist of today engage in a spirited dialogue from which emerges a self-portrait of "The Artist as a Young -- and middle-aged and aging -- Survivor." The brilliance, vision, and virtuosity that Bak brings to his painting are equally in evidence in his writing. This deeply touching work is an important contribution to Holocaust literature and art history.
Main Description
At my first sight of a painting by Samuel Bak, I had the keen sense that he was telling me stories with his brush. Now that at long last he has written this book, I find it no wonder that he has painted with his pen.... Among the tens and hundreds of books I have read about the pre-Shoah and post-Shoah period... Bak's book is unique. Despite being suffused with a sense of loss, horror, degradation, and death, it is ultimately a sanguine, funny book, full of the love of life, rocking with an almost cathartic joy. At times I found myself bursting out laughing... a marvelous ode, a colorful hymn to the forces of life, love, creation, and the joys of the senses. From the Foreword by Amos Oz In Painted in Words internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories of his lifeas a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps, and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. With gentle humor, the child prodigy of the faraway past and the accomplished artist of today engage in a spirited dialogue from which emerges a self-portrait of "The Artist as a Youngand middle-aged and agingSurvivor." The brilliance, vision, and virtuosity that Bak brings to his painting are equally in evidence in his writing. This deeply touching work is an important contribution to Holocaust literature and art history.
Main Description
In Painted in Words internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories of his life--as a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps, and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. Lovingly, he evokes his departed parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, along with their households and employees, to create a vital gallery of dramatic, lyrical, epic, and sometimes absurd heroes. With gentle humour, the child prodigy of the faraway past and the accomplished artist of today engage in a spirited dialogue from which emerges a self-portrait of "The Artist as a Young--and middle-aged and ageing--Survivor." The brilliance, vision, and virtuosity that Bak brings to his painting are equally in evidence in his writing. This deeply touching work is a worthy addition to Holocaust literature and art history.Samuel Bak, born in Vilna in 1933, had the first exhibition of his drawings at the age of nine in the Vilna ghetto. Escaping after its destruction, he emigrated to Israel, where he studied at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem. In an artistic career of over forty years he has had numerous exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout Israel, Europe, and the United States. Since 1993 he has lived in the Boston area with his wife, Jose.Bak's other publications include Landscapes of Jewish Experience; Chess as Metaphor in the Art of Samuel Bak; The Game Continues: Chess in the Art of Samuel Bak; and The Past Continues."At my first sight of a painting by Samuel Bak, I had the keen sense that he was telling me stories with his brush. Now that at long last he has written this book, I find it no wonder that he has painted with his pen. . . . Among the tens and hundreds of books I have read about the pre-Shoah and post-Shoah period . . Bak's book is unique. Despite being suffused with a sense of loss, horror, degradation, and death, it is ultimately a sanguine, funny book, full of the love of life, rocking with an almost cathartic joy. At times I found myself bursting out laughing . . . a marvellous ode, a colourful hymn to the forces of life, love, creation, and the joys of the senses." --From the Foreword by Amos Oz
Publisher Fact Sheet
The spirited autobiography of a distinguished artist whose life and art were shaped by the Holocaust experiences of his childhood in the Vilna ghetto. "...[A] marvelous ode, a colorful hymn to the forces of life, love, creation, and the joys of the senses."--Amos Oz.
Unpaid Annotation
In Painted in Words internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak sets aside his brushes to narrate the stories of his life -- as a child in Nazi-occupied Vilna, as a youth in European refugee camps, and as a maturing artist in Israel, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. With gentle humor, the child prodigy of the faraway past and the accomplished artist of today engage in a spirited dialogue from which emerges a self-portrait of "The Artist as a Young -- and middle-aged and aging -- Survivor." The brilliance, vision, and virtuosity that Bak brings to his painting are equally in evidence in his writing. This deeply touching work is an important contribution to Holocaust literature and art history.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Painted in Words, Narrated in Colours and Light
The Pinkas
How All This Writing Began
Aunt Yetta's Magic
On Father's Side: The Baks
Sailing on Rachel's Wet Floor
Another Realm: Her Highness Xenia
Three Stories in Search of My Father
On Mother's Side: The Yochels and the Nadels
Many Loves and a Deep Friendship
Events Follow Events
Mother's Tutoring
Afterwords
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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