Page 81 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 16

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a b ak o f f
— I
srael i
ngl i sh
Herbert Howarth, Robert Friend, Gabriel Preil and Jacob Sloan,
among others.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Israel, the new
quarterly magazine,
The Li terary Re v i ew ,
an international
journal of contemporary writing, devoted its entire Spring 1958
issue to Israeli letters. This magazine, edited by Clarence R.
Decker and Charles Angoff for Farleigh Dickinson University,
contains several short stories by well-known authors such as
Agnon, Hazaz and Burla, and a section of poetry representing
thirteen poets. Special features of the issue are the survey article,
“An Old-New Literature in an Old-New Land,” by Joseph
Klausner, and a full-length biblical play by A. Ashman. It is
regrettable that more members of the younger guard are not
represented here and that the names of the translators of the
various contributions are not indicated. Nevertheless, this Israeli
number is to be welcomed as the first of its kind to be sponsored
by a general literary review. It is highly desirable to focus the
attention of non-Jewish literary circles on the literary creativity
of Israel.
In Israel itself the latest periodical to foster translation is
a journal for youth leaders edited by I. Halevy-Levin
for the Youth and Hechalutz Department of the Zionist Organi-
zation. In volume I, number 2 (1957), we find several poems
in the original and in parallel translation.
Another outstanding periodical which saw fit to devote an
entire issue to Israeli literary creativity was
Poetry ,
edited by
Henry Rago. Its July 1958 issue consists entirely of a selection
of contemporary Israeli verse, edited in consultation with Simon
Halkin, professor of Hebrew literature at the Hebrew Univer-
sity. This is by far the finest sampling to date. We have
represented the work of 21 poets whose “poetry either began or
grew with the sense of Palestine as a place and a destiny.” An
insight will be gained here into the writings of such poets as
Greenberg, Lamdan and Shlonsky, as well as of many of the
younger men. Most of the translations are the work of Ruth
Finer Mintz of Los Angeles, who is now in Israel. Professor
Halkin himself has contributed an article entitled “Postscript:
The Younger Poets,” in which he sees a line of continuity
stretching from the classic Hebrew poets to the younger writers.
On the basis of what has already been accomplished in the
field of translation, we may look forward in the next decade of
Israeli statehood to the unfolding in English of still more areas
of Israeli life and experience. It is not too much to hope that
some of the values cultivated in this literature will help nurture
and sustain the Jewish spirit everywhere.