Page 10 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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Finally, attention should be drawn to the new Jewish Poetry
Series inaugu rated by the Jewish Publication Society. T h e first
three titles which were published in un iform editions in 1980 are:
In light of Genesis,
original verse by Pamela White Hadas;
The
Syrian-African rift and other poems,
translated from the Hebrew o f
the Israeli poet Avoth Yeshurun; and
Hebrew ballads and other
poems,
translated from the German o f Else Lasker-Schiiler. T he
latter two volumes were published with facing texts. T h e series,
u nde r the general editorship o f Yehuda Amichai and Allen Man-
delbaum, is to presen t works from various periods and will in ­
clude translations from the Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as an ­
thologies.
The wide range o f Jewish poetry which may now be readily
sampled cannot fail to impress the English reader with its variety
o f thematic materials and genres. Moreover, it will reveal to all the
many fruitful influences, both ancient and modern, which have
shaped it. T he remarkable creativity exhibited in so many lan­
guages should serve to dispel the doubts o f such critics as Haro ld
Bloom (see his controversial review o f
Voices within the ark,
entitled
“The Heavy Bu rden o f the Past,” T he New York Times Book
Review, Jan . 4, 1981) regard ing the quality and continuity o f
Jewish poetry.
I l l
T u rn ing to the contents o f this
year's Annual,
we are fo rtuna te
tha t Jewish booklore is so ably rep resen ted by Israel Mehlman’s
opening article on ra re Hebrew books. Mehlman’s expertise as a
life-long collector and bibliophile is attested to by the fact tha t
both the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem and
the Tel Aviv University Library boast o f collections bearing his
name.
The attention o f the Jewish world has o f late been focused on
events in Argentina. In her survey o f Latin American Jewish
writing, Roberta Kalechofsky has dealt not only with A rgen tina’s
Jewish writers but also with those o f Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico
and o ther lands. Anne Lapidus Lerner, in h e r article devoted to
American Jewish literature, has drawn a parallel between two