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lifesong

Earlier this month, in the space of 24 hours, two video clips arrived in my in-box.
One is nine minutes in length. The other is six minutes. Both were recorded a long time ago and are rather limited, technically. Both feature men who were born in the same decade and then who died in the same decade as well. One had a privileged upbringing, while the other's was defined by unimaginable suffering. One is proper and polished, speaking in his mother tongue; the other is witty and conversational, speaking in a language not his own. One articulates ideas, the other tells stories. One dialogues with another as they sit and as they walk, the other monologues from the front, standing behind, and leaning on a lectern. One is speaking from inside Central Europe, although that is not his homeland; the other is speaking from outside Central Europe, which is his homeland. One is a Christian, the other is a Jew. 
And both were writers. Each wrote more than 50 books and yet, in these clips, each re…

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