Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
36
Schocken
, the Hebrew University Press and the smaller active pub-
lishing units. From time to time there are also organized various
committees to sponsor the publication of volumes. A recent ex-
ample is the issuing of the works of Yaakov Kahn in ten volumes.
Until now only his poems were available in book form. His com-
plete works will now include his dramas and prose works as well.
HISTORICAL NOVELS OF PALESTINE
The problem of the development of an indigenous Palestine
literature to give expression to the strivings and realities of the
Yishuv is still keenly felt in Palestine. Although there have been
numerous attempts to picture Palestinian life in novels and short
stories, much is still left to be desired in this regard. During the
past year, however, a number of novels of Palestinian life have
appeared to which we should like to draw attention. Even some
of the older writers, such as Agnon and Barash, not to mention
Hazaz, Burla and Shofmann, have turned to specific Palestinian
themes. Although the modern Yishuv is not very old, we already
have the beginning of the historical novel of Palestine. Agnon, in
his new book
Tmol Shilshom
(Yesterday and Before), deals with
the second Aliyah and describes the city of Jaffa in pre-war days
as well as Jerusalem and the settlements of the time. Barash, in
K ’ir Netzurah
(As a Beseiged City), tells the story of Tel Aviv
during the first World War. We have then on the par t of these
writers a definite trend away from the golah to specific Palestinian
themes, a fact which offers promise of a new awareness and future
possibilities.
Two of the younger writers have also produced typically Pales-
tinian novels. David Maletz, a member of the third Aliyah and one
of the builders of Ain Harod, gave us a novel of Kibbutz life in his
Maagalot
(Circles), which is striking in its bold portrayal of prob-
lems of the settlement. Another young writer, Shraga Kadari, in
his
Aynayim Atzumot
(Eyes Tightly Shut), has built a novel
around Jerusalem life during the height of the Nazi victories and
has given his story a religious motif.
Another volume which promises much regarding the develop-
ment of a specific Palestinian literature is the collection of short
stories entitled
Yamim Yedaberu
(The Days Speak), by the young
writer Yitzhak Shenberg. A Schocken publication, this work re-
ceived the annual Ruppin prize presented by the city of Haifa.
In this third collection of his short stories, Shenberg at tempts to
give a composite picture of Palestinian life rather than to dwell
on any specific theme. We have here a combination of light and