Page 38 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
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are open to any young person who has created works of
literary value; such a periodical, however it may be attacked
from various sides, is the only way that the younger genera-
tion can make its contribution, properly and adequately,
to our litera tu re . . . This is a first attempt of this sort in
our country.
I. Zmoira’s
Mahberot Le-Sifrut
(Literary Pamphlets) was the
chief exception to the rule that publication up to that time had
been heavily dependent, directly or indirectly, on party or insti-
tutional support. Actually, he was not a true exception, since
he publishes books; however, no literary magazine had been able
to survive without “backing.” Tha t so many good works had
nevertheless seen the light of print, is a tribute to the good taste
of the editors and readers, especially of the literary supplements
which appear in the newspapers every Sabbath and every holiday.
But the general shift is emphasized by two things: since 1958,
A. Amir has been editing a successful independent literary-
critical quarterly,
Keshet
(Rainbow); and in March, 1960, the
first issue of
Ayked
(Gathering), a quarterly to be devoted ex-
clusively to poetry (original and translated) and to the criticism
of poetry, appeared with the following statement of aims:
Ayked
does not limit itself in advance to any literary schools
in its selection of the material it publishes, so that it may
include poets of various periods; the only criteria for their
publication will be their quality and the interest that they
arouse in readers today.
It is impossible to summarize the work of two dozen young
poets in the space at our disposal, but we may convey something
of their qualities by a few examples. I suspect Israel is in the
midst of a minor poetic “renaissance,” whose measure the older
critics have not yet taken. It resembles somewhat the situation in
the States just before World War I and in the early 20’s when,
as someone said, all the young birds seemed to begin singing at
once. I t is impossible to generalize about “influences,” since the
backgrounds are so diverse. In the first issue of
Ayked,
to take
a readily available example, we find poetry translated from
Russian (Pasternak), Spanish (Lorca), Italian (Quasimodo),
Hungarian (G. Illyes), French (J. Prevert, Yves Bonfois), English
(D. Thomas), and German (Rilke).10 There has been consider-
able discussion in the press of “modernism” and its problems
(the latest style is to denounce its “nihilism” and “decadence”),
10 One is not surprised (on second thought) to find a Sephard, Y. Luria,
whom Lask once praised for his fine “feeling for the actual melody of
Hebrew” and faithfulness to “Oriental tradition,” writing (in “Amatul” )
a lyric tale which seems to echo Poe’s “Ulalume.” In general, the amount,
range, and quality of poetic translation is constantly improving—but that
is another story.