Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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6 6
With the hea t and streng th o f summ er a t the ir height, the
translator rende rs “ho t summ er” where he should have written:
“m idsumm e r,” tha t strong o r h ighpo in t in summ er known as the
summ er solstice. “M idsummer” connotes this; “ho t summ er”
does not.
Glancing down the m iddle o f the page, some th ing attracts ou r
a ttention . We have a feeling we have read carelessly and skipped
some lines. We have accidentally discovered an en tire parag raph
in the Hebrew has been elim inated from the English translation!
Before ru sh ing to condemn , we wonder who is to blame. Was it
the transla to r who exceeded his au thority and tam pered with the
text? O r was it a commercially motivated pub lisher who decreed
tha t the novel must fit a certain num ber o f pages and , since
Amichai had too much to say, a parag raph h ere and the re had to
be elim inated surreptitiously?8
T he fine English translation o f Asher Barash’s
Picturesfrom a
reveals some in teresting points.9 Since the story o f Hana
Aberdam does not begin until the second pa rag raph o f the open ­
ing chap ter, we skip the n a r ra to r ’s in troduc tory remarks and
make ou r selection from the la tter ha lf o f the second parag raph :
From the moment I set eyes
on my hu sband ’s pale, gentle
face, saw his large , hon es t
eyes, and h ea rd his modest,
soft, sad way o f speaking, my
h e a r t w en t o u t to h im , to
know and love him with all my
soul. He was, in my eyes, like a
man o f God whom I had been
called upon to serve. Day and
night he would sit alone in the
nx ’n n rw r tw o n y n n p*?
nxi amorim o^a^n ’*?ya ’is
’ny a tn n iY w m n i^m n r r y
,axy«n ’iwnn ,jinan m a n nx
Vsa lanx'Ti naa*? ■wsa ia rrpai
D^nVx t rx o
rpn xvr
o a r . im t^
‘rain *wx
nxpn ^nxw fm n a m a a w rrn
asy l i r a a rrnn
a )
D^iVn ” n
.wsm m^a
.m p r i a vn
8 Gershon Shaked in his
Gal Hadash Ba-Sipporet Ha-Ivrit
(Tel-Aviv: 1971) ob­
served about Amichai’s novel that it suffered from an abundance of subjects
seemingly presented chaotically. He pointed out in a footnote that an attempt
has been made to reduce the novel to a semblance of order in the English
translation. One of his students proved by comparison o f the original with the
translation that, although the editorial work had achieved this in form, it had
lost its original flavor (p. 123).
9 Asher Barash,
Pictures from a Brewery,
trans. K. Kaplan (N.Y.: 1971).