Tucked in

Nicholas Spice

  • Fima by Amos Oz
    Chatto, 352 pp, £15.99, September 1993, ISBN 0 7011 4004 6

In Fima the asymmetry in relations between men and women is presented with indulgent humour and excessive sensitivity, and from a predominantly, if not dominatingly, male viewpoint. Oz’s treatment of the theme is ragged and passionate, discursive and repetitive. This is inevitable given that the novel is almost entirely entrusted to a single character, Efraim Nomberg Nisan (known as Fima to his friends), whose profligacy with words and speculation and sympathy is a symptom of his constitutional inability to contain himself. Everything in Fima’s personality tends to spill over. Usually there are women around to wipe up.

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