Publisher : London : Chatto & Windus
Release Date : 1962
Pages : 118 pages
Rating Book: 4.9/5 (39 users)
Download or read book The Death of Ahasuerus written by Pär Lagerkvist and published by London : Chatto & Windus. This book was released on 1962 with total page 118 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: This novel by the great Swedish novelist and Nobel Prize winner will hold different meanings for different people, but whatever construction is put upon its symbolism, readers will find in it a message for the modern world. Written in the same deceptively simple style as Barabbas and The Sibyl, its implications are even more deeply embedded in the author's mysticism. The setting is medieval, and in the end Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, whom we met in The Sibyl, attains his deliverance. Gathered at an inn are devout pilgrims to the Holy Land, ruffians who had been in the wars, harlots and gamblers. A stranger pushes his way in to take shelter from the storm and is accosted by a man sitting apart from the others. With him is a woman bearing traces of the beauty and grace she once had. He calls her Diana. During the wars, they had met and loved and she had followed him everywhere. When the army disintegrated, he joined a band of brigands and the woman, no longer the clean, solitary young huntress he had known, is now the property of all. Yet still, some special bond survives between them. In the morning, the pilgrims resume their march. With them goes Tobias, Diana, and the stranger, now recognized as Ahasuerus, who denied Jesus a moment of respite and was condemned to eternal life. On their way, Diana sees an arrow speeding for Tobias, steps in front of him, and herself receives a mortal wound. Later, when Ahasuerus lies dying in a monastery, he muses, ". . . at last I have vanquished God . . . that is why I lie here and feel death approaching -- kind, merciful death which I have so longed for.