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The wizardry of Oz

As Ariel Sharon is elected, Amos Oz publishes his new verse novel in Britain. Inside its ordinary domestic setting lies a plea for quiet in Israel

By Kate Kellaway   March 2001

Amos oz once gave a lecture in which he suggested that fanaticism begins at home. It starts, he argues, as the “desire to make other people change.” He believes it is important, instead, to try to “imagine the other.”

It is typical of Oz to try and domesticate the idea of fanaticism, to put us on familiar terms with it. He knows how to bring uneasy truths home. He is a plain speaker and “imagining the other” is what he has always done best, not only in his fiction. He has been a steady, humane, liberal voice in Israel, critical-in…

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