To the Editor:
Nathan Glick’s perceptive review of The Juggler (“Hollywood in Israel,” June 1953) mentions several similarities to My Father s House, naming me as the producer of the latter. It should be noted that I produced it together with Herbert Kline; I wrote it, he directed it, and the direction is usually determinant of the pace.
As to the similarities in The Juggler, I should like to add a few, which may be verified in the published novels of both titles.
Both stories deal with a man, woman, and orphan child who become a possible family through the healing effect of Israel.
In both, the refugee from Europe is suffering from survivor-guilt.
In both, the man and woman are brought together when the child loses his power of locomotion.
In both, there is a scene in which the child is asked how he remembers his father: In My Father’s House, page 52, the child says, “I think he has a black mustache . . . in the evening, at home, he played, and everybody sang. . . .” In The Juggler, page 96, the child says, “he had a black mustache . . . the eve of Sabbath . . . my father at the piano, and sometimes my mother would sing. . . .”
In both stories, a refugee imagines he recognizes a loved one on the docks at Haifa.
In both stories, the guilt-ridden survivor feels impeded from taking part in the kibbutz dance.
There are many, many stories to be found in Israel. It seems to me that a conscientious writer, finding recently used elements coming to his mind, would turn aside from them, unless he was specifically trying to prove that these elements should be shown to have a different meaning.
New York City