Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The World To Come

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The World To Come

by Dara Horn

The World To Come by Dara Horn X
The World To Come by Dara Horn
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 320 pages

    Oct 2006, 320 pages


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Beyond the Book

This article relates to The World To Come

Print Review

Dara Horn was inspired to write The World To Come following an actual theft of a Marc Chagall painting from a museum in New York that took place during a singles' cocktail hour. More about this.

The painting that Benjamin Ziskind steals from the museum, Study for "Over Vitebsk", is, I assume, fictitious. However Over Vitebsk itself does exist, and can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. Vitebsk was the town in which Chagall was born and spent his childhood. More about Chagall.

'Der Nister' was the pseudonym of Pinchas Kahanovich, a Yiddish author, philosopher, translator and critic who was born in the Ukraine in 1884 and died in a Soviet Gulag in 1950. Even in his earliest works, he was drawn to the arcane teachings of the Kabbalah (A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin - from which the word 'cabal' comes), and adopted the pseudonym 'Der Nister' - 'The Hidden One'. His novel, The Family Mashber was published in English for the first time in 1987. More about Der Nister.

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This article relates to The World To Come. It first ran in the January 18, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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