Page 279 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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J E W I S H L I T E R A R Y A N N I V E R S A R I E S
1968
B
y
T
h e o d o r e
W
i e n e r
D
u r in g
t h e
p a s t
y e a r
modern Hebrew literature received
international recognition when the Nobel prize for litera-
ture was awarded to Samuel Joseph Agnon. (Nelly Sachs, co-
winner of the Nobel prize, wrote her verse in German.) This
draws attention to the increasing number of Hebrew writers in
Israel today who have made their impress on the growing Hebrew
reading public in that country. Of particular significance are the
works of Haim Hazaz, Uri Zvi Greenberg, and Menachem Zalman
Wolfovsky, who like Agnon celebrate significant birthdays in
the coming year.
While original creativity in Hebrew is very important, the
Hebrew reader rightfully demands that the best of the world’s
literature be made available to him in his own language. In this
endeavor Hayyim Shalom Ben-Avram, Elijah Meitus, Mordecai
Avi-Shaul and the late Saul Tchernichovsky have rendered great
service, although the latter’s place as an original Hebrew poet
overshadows his work as a translator. Nevertheless, it is note•
worthy that so many first-rate Hebrew writers are engaged in
the work of translation to broaden the horizon of their people.
A link to the literature of the past is provided by Heinrich
Brody, whose work of editing texts in medieval Hebrew poetry
widened their horizon in another direction.
Among other scholars who have illumined our past and its
literature we recall Bernhard Wachstein, David Cassel, Ismar
Elbogen, Moritz Guedemann, and Adolf Jellinek, as well as the
martyred Meyer Balaban and Ignaz Schipper, and among the
living Saul Lieberman, Fritz (Yitzhak) Baer, and David Baneth.
A special place in the hearts of American Jews of the immi-
grant generation was filled by Zevi Hirsch Masliansky and Chaim
Zhitlowsky, who in the very polarity of their views exemplified
the vitality of American Jewish life.
The distant past is represented by Jehiel ben Joseph of Paris,
Sabbatai ben Joseph Bass, and Zebi Hirsch Ashkenazi.
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