Presented bilingually with a new English translation by Man Booker Prize-winning translator Jessica Cohen, these brief fables by Israeli author Daniel Oz engage with vast concepts about human nature. Full of timeless, open-ended parables, Further Up the Path offers no answers, moralizing, or conclusion: only an uneasy bewilderment with the paradoxes of the human—and animal—condition.
No one knows who the wisest woman in the universe is because she does not publish books or lecture in academe. One may presume that she fully comprehends the futility of advancing humanity.
I once sent my philosophical queries to a wise man via email, but he was too far-sighted to reply. Or perhaps an email address is of no use to such a genius, or possibly he never bothered to learn how to read and write. In a later missive, I wondered whether he had spared me the secrets of his wisdom for my own benefit, so as not to unsettle my joie de vivre. This time he replied: No, but rather so as not to unsettle my own.
“Just as folk tales and even children’s fairy tales—or perhaps fairy tales that became children’s once humanity matured—are intended to decipher latent riddles and explain them in an experiential rather than theoretical way, so do Daniel Oz’s fables.”
“Daniel Oz’s collection of flash fables, Further Up the Path, is charming for the way they make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. These pieces of prose poetry blend two frames of reference, creating a new world.”
—Marcela Sulak, host of Israel in Translation
“Welcome to the world of Daniel Oz, dear readers. It is a place populated by unlikely characters who are just as lost and unsure as you and I. But perhaps there is a blessing in all these uncertainties. Perhaps what we don’t know will save us. In these tales—these flashes of recognition—Daniel Oz joins the tradition that begins with the Old Testament and goes all the way to Kafka and Borges to our days. It is a tradition in which a moment enters and we briefly see the lyric flame inside it.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic