My Name is Asher Lev

by: Chaim Potok

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Away from my world, alone in an apartment that offered me neither memories nor roots, I began to find old and distant memories of my own, long buried by pain and time and slowly brought to the surface now…. Now I would have to paint the street that could not be seen.

Removed from the familiar and comforting world of his childhood, Asher is forced to reach back into the recesses of his mind. This quotation, from Chapter 13 after Asher has moved into his own apartment in Paris, represents a turning point in Asher's relationship to his past. He finally begins to reflect on his past and on his relationship to his parents, his family, and his community. He begins to see himself as situated within that community in a unique way, but still as a part of it. These memories, he says he will paint. What comes out of the painting of these reflections are his crucifixions—his crowning achievements—but also the paintings that separate him from his community and reduce it permanently to his memories.