Nobel Prize - winning author S. Y. Agnon was the foremost Hebrew writer of the twentieth century. His work navigated the world of Jewish tradition and that of secular modernity, capturing the conflict between old and new. In ""Language, Absence, Play"", Yaniv Hagbi explores Agnon's theological and philosophical attitudes toward language, attitudes that to a large extent shaped his poetics and aesthetic values. Drawing on anthologies compiled by Agnon, among others, Hagbi examines his theoretical orientation and the ways he integrated into his poetics ideas about language that are rooted in Jewish theology. In doing so, Hagbi casts light on profound parallels between religiously inspired Jewish hermeneutics and the language-centered superstructuralist theories that have dominated academic discourse in the humanities since the mid-twentieth century. With deep insight and lucid prose, ""Language, Absence, Play"" demonstrates how the traditional and the contemporary forces shaping Agnon's literary art inform and transform each other.