The Shmooze

Etgar Keret and the World’s Skinniest House

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
iStockphoto

“Narrow-minded” isn’t how Etgar Keret normally comes across. But his new project in Warsaw actually has the Israeli author and filmmaker limiting his boundaries.

According to the Toronto Star, Keret will become the occupant of the “world’s skinniest house”—a four-story, five-foot-wide modernist structure to be completed by winter.

Located in an alleyway between a 1960s office tower and an apartment building, the home “includes two livable floors, complete with a bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen. It will be furnished with a kitchen table, bed, bookshelf and a ladder to connect the two floors,” according to the report.

Since Keret lives most of the time in Tel Aviv, he’ll use the space primarily as a studio, architect Jakub Szczesny told the paper. “There is talk of the house being used as an artist’s residence when he’s not occupying it,” the paper reported. The architect originally intended the building more as an art installation than a home, the Star said. “My idea was to start with Etgar…to attract him to this place,” Szczesny said. “Everyone loves him here. He represents a new Israel for people.”

In an e-mail, Keret told the Star he had thought the idea was “some kind of (Candid Camera) hoax” when first approached about it. “But after meeting the architect here I realized that he had given it a lot of thought and that it is seen by him more as a work of art that relates to my family biography and esthetic choices in writing than as a pragmatic living space.” Keret, who is of Polish origin, told the paper he visits Poland about once a year. “While his parents met in Israel, his mother was born in Warsaw and lost her entire family in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Keret’s father is from Baranovichi, a city that was a part of Poland but now belongs to Belarus. He, too, is a survivor of the war.”

Keret’s books have been published in 29 languages in 34 countries. In 2007, Keret and his wife, poet Shira Geffen, won the Cannes Film Festival`s Camera d’Or prize for their film “Jellyfish.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Jellyfish, Shira Geffen, Jakub Szczesny, Etgar Keret, Film, Architecture, Warsaw

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.