Page 150 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
in his riper years. Although he began his poetical career fifty
years ago, his inspiration lives on with youthful vigor and fresh­
ness. We may expect still more books of poetry from his able
pen. Indeed, he belongs to the talented few who can alternate
between poetry and prose works.
T R A N S L A T I O N F R O M T H E G R E E K
Silberschlag is a skillful and noted translator from Greek into
Hebrew. His knowledge of the two languages is superb and he
is well equipped for this immense 'task, which began in reverse
some two thousand years ago. Probably the greatest translation
of the Bible in the Diaspora from its original language was the
Greek Septuagint. Silberschlag accordingly follows in the path
of an old tradition. His translation of the
E le ve n C om ed ie s o f
A r is to p h a n e s
into Hebrew appeared in two volumes in 1967,
earning for him the coveted Tschernichowsky Prize for T rans­
lation.
Silberschlag’s magnum opus is his history of Hebrew litera­
ture. I t begins with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and
will end with the year 1970, a period that embraces nearly five
hundred years of Jewish life and creativity in all centers of the
world. This stupendous endeavor, which was conceived by
the author years ago, has only recently begun to see publica­
tion in book form. The first volume, entitled
F rom R en a is sa n ce to
Rena issance : H e b r ew L i te r a tu r e from 1492 -1970 ,
appeared in
1973, and is a book to treasure. Silberschlag’s wide acquaintance
with the world of literature and his penetrating analyses of his­
torical and literary events have done much to enable the reader
to view Hebrew writers against the background of their age and
their surroundings.
F rom R ena issance to R ena issan ce
is an unusual book which
forces the reader to rethink and reevaluate his ideas and ap­
proaches. There are many works which deal which Hebrew lit­
erature, bu t none has encompassed such a long period of time
nor has done as much to make world literature the focus of its
interpretation. This is not to say that other literary historians
have ignored the influences of world literature. They stressed
other literatures in varying measure, bu t their main concern was
with Hebrew literature and its development, with the central