Page 71 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 16

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a b ak o f f
— I
srael i
itera ture
ngl i sh
5 7
has been made by I. M. Lask, whose name figures so prominently
as a translator. Already in the 30’s Lask regularly contributed
translations of short stories and poetry to the
Palest ine Rev iew
and to other journals. His work appears in the anthology
(London, John Heritage, 1933), edited by Joseph Leftwich, as
well as in the two anthologies
The Jewish Caravan
(N.Y., Farrar
and Rinehart, 1935) and
A Golden Treasury of Jewish Li terature
(N.Y., Farrar and Rinehart, 1937), edited by Leo W. Schwarz.
Other prominent translators whose work saw publication during
the 30’s were Maurice Samuel, A. M. Klein and A. H. Friedland
in this country, and L. V. Snowman in England.
During the 40’s the World Zionist Organization began system-
atically to sponsor translation. The initial efforts were issued
in mimeographed form in such organs as the
Informat ion Service
of the Zionist Organization Youth Department, as well as in
various printed youth journals. In addition to I. M. Lask’s
regular contributions during these years, we find also those of
Dov Vardi, Israel Schen, Sylvia Satten and others.
Among the early efforts of the Youth Department were the
slim paperbacks published under the general title of
Palest ine
Pioneer Library ,
of which a few were translations. A forerunner
of the
Israel Argosy
was the
Palest ine Miscellany I
(Tel Aviv,
Zionist Organization Youth Department, 1948), which was en-
visaged as the first in a series of quarterly publications devoted
to Hebrew prose and poetry. Among the authors represented
were the veteran poets Saul Tchernichowsky and Yaakov Fich-
man and the short-story writers Yehuda Yaari, Yitzhak Shenberg,
Israel Zarchi and Yigal Mossinson. Yaari’s
The Three-Fold Cov-
enant ,
dealing with the struggles of the German immigrants of
the third aliya, as well as Shenberg’s
Israel Zvi,
based on kibbutz
life, have since been reprinted in various anthologies.
Still another modest effort to bring some of the writing of
Hebrew authors to the attention of the English reader was made
by the
Ar tz i Palestine Almanac
for 5708 (1947-48) and 5710
(1949-50), respectively, published also by the Palestine Pioneer
Library. These had their precursor in the Palestine almanac
Mo lede t
for 5707 (1946-47), published in Tel Aviv by Lion the
Printer, who also produced the Palestine Pioneer Library. A
similar purpose was served in England by the publication of
The L iv ing Rampar t
(London, Zionist Youth Council, 1948),
dedicated to the popularization of literary pieces dealing with
the Israeli struggle for independence.
Wri ting of Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Undoubtedly, the author who has most often been translated
into other languages is Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the dean of Hebrew
story writers, whose 70th birthday was marked this past summer.
Agnon was first introduced to the English-reading public through