Shmuel Agnon’s Only Yesterday

This paper reviews Shmuel Agnon’s `Only Yesterday,` a simple tale about a man who immigrates to Palestine in the Second Aliyah (1904 – 1914).

The paper discusses this classic novel as it moves the reader in a charming network of meanings, contradictions and paradoxes. The author introduces the main character, Isaac Kumer, and follows his life in the `Land of Israel.` The author says the message of the book is that a man’s many highs and lows may be caused by his sometimes ill-fated decisions.
As the book continues to explore Kumer’s adventures and disappointments in his life, the reader learns that he always led astray by circumstances. He always ends up in the place opposite of where he wants to be, and the audience will ask the question why. The manuscript ascends to Surrealist-Kafkaesque declines when Kumer drips paint on a stray dog, in a playful manner writing Crazy Dog on his back.