Page 78 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

Basic HTML Version

JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
6 6
and a conclusion. This is a literary
tour deforce
and it outdoes any
of the poet’s other idylls. I t is built around the story of bee cul-
ture and contains much biological information. Using the bees
and their system as vivid symbols, Tchernichowsky wove into
his poem themes of love and death, memories of Russian life and
his forebears, yearning for the Jewish homeland — the bee-hive
of a new generation. There is also a universal symbolism to the
poem which will help ensure it a lasting place in our literature.
Another volume of poetry which merits our attention is David
Shimonowitz’s
Sefer ha-Idilyot
(Book of Idylls), published by the
new and active publishing house Massadah. Shimonowitz is sec-
ond only to Tchernichowsky in the use of the idyll for describing
Jewish life and he was the first to use this form to sing of the
new life in Palestine. The present collection comprises seventeen
of his recent as well as his older, well-known idylls. They en-
compass thirty years of
chalutziut
, from the early period of roman-
tic love of Zion to the recent gripping episodes of terror in the
land and enlistment in the war against the Nazis. The last idyll
in the book (
Letter to Somewhere
) contains a moving exchange of
letters between a young enlisted Palestinian and his father. Re-
fleeted in the poems are the various stages in the growth of the
Homeland.
NOVELS AND STORIES
The recent crop of Palestine novels and stories has brought new
works by such writers as Barash, Smilanskv, Burla, Berkowitz,
Churgin, Chanani, Menahem and Yigal Kimchi. But worthy of
special attention is the late A. A. Kabak’s
B'tzel Etz Hatliah
(In the Shadow of the Gallows), published by
Am Oved.
This
is the second volume of a trilogy on which Kabak was at work
and in which he aime.d to write the “History of a Family” dur-
ing the last century, in the manner of Galsworthy’s
Forsythe
Saga.
The first volume, which brought Kabak the Bialik Prize
last year, described the impact of the Emancipation upon a Jew-
ish family. This volume depicts the tragedy of a generation that
flung itself into the liberation movement in Poland and forsook
Jewish life.
Another novel of lasting value is Hayyim Hazaz’s
Hayoshevet
Baganim
(That Dwellest in the Gardens), the second volume of
his collected works being published by
Am Oved.
Hazaz is one
of the Hebrew writers who has shown remarkable adaptability to
the Palestinian scene. Whereas previously he used to deal with
Jewish town life in Europe and especially in Russia, he now has
become the interpreter of Yemenite life. In order^to do this he