Page 62 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
56
Steinman and others) who published the literary weekly
Tu rim
through Yahdav. During these years she was under the linguistic
and poetic influence of Shlonsky.
In the year of her arrival she published her first book of poems,
Tabaot Ashan
(Rings of Smoke), about which she said 25 years
later, “Today I do not like this book. It is too monotonous and
sentimental.” She included only nine of its poems in a volume
of her selected poems
Mukdam u-Meuhar
(1960), merely as “a
testimony.”
She was very active as a literary and theatrical critic and as an
essayist analyzing world and Hebrew literature. For eight years
she edited
D ava fs
children’s supplement and served as the paper’s
theatre critic. She then became editor of the children’s supplement
of
AI Hamishmar.
Throughout this time she published many
poems and stories for children and fine translations of world
poetry and prose for children.
Her second book of poems was
Shibolet Yerukat Haayin
(Green
Corn Ear). The anguish and distress of World War II and the
Holocaust moved her to publish the volume of poetry,
M i-Beti
ha-Yashan
(From My Old Home). In this book Leah Goldberg’s
lyrical talent reached maturity and fullness of expression. Her
M i-Beti ha-Yashan
and two later volumes of poetry,
A l ha-Prihah
(On the Flowering) and
Barak ba^Boker
(Lightning in the Morn-
ing), were republished in full in her above-mentioned
Mukdam
u-Meuhar.
A Guide to Literary Understanding
In her literary essays as in her critical work, Miss Goldberg
was predominately a teacher and a guide to literary understand-
ing and good taste. When invited (in 1952) to teach world litera-
ture at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she accepted this
task with the full consciousness of her responsibility, which she
discharged with devotion and steadfastness.
As for her ideas about symbolism in literature and about the
importance of the text as such, let Leah Goldberg speak for herself
(as quoted by reporter Galia Yardeni): “The inclination to
extreme symbolism is the malady of our generation. Instead of
reading the text and seeing what is written in it, they try to intro-
duce into it ideas from the outside. To my mind, the most impor-
tant thing is the text. I do not like criticism which deals with
ideas, unless they stem from the very text. I like criticism which
tears apart the living flesh.”
Leah Goldberg published a novel,
Ve-Hu ha-Or
(That Is the
Light), and a play,
Baalat ha-Armon
(Lady of the Manor), which