Page 54 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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By S.
r n s t
HE output of our literature during the war-time year of
5708 showed a marked decrease, totalling only about half the
number of books which appeared in the preceding year. The
difficulty in obtaining paper and the fact that many writers
served in the armed forces of Israel served to restrict publish-
ing activity. Whereas communal publishing agencies, such as
Am Oved, Mossad Bialik, Mossad Harav Kook and Sifriat Poalim
continued their regular programs, private publishers were faced
with a crisis.
If the number of poetic works was not great, the quality of
those that did appear was enhanced by the emergence of Jew-
ish statehood. The selected poems of Abraham Broides,
Adam L'Adam
(From Man to Man, Mossad Bialik) are tinged
with lyricism and depict the sorrow of the immigrants and their
struggles in the new land. Jacob Steinberg’s
Shirim Aharonim
(Last Poems, Agudat Hasofrim) express in quiet tones the
sadness of the poet. A collection of timely pieces by Nathan Al-
Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i
(The Seventh Column, Am Oved)
presents in verse the poet’s reaction to the heroic events of the
day. Other poetic offerings came from the pens of Leah Gold-
berg (
A l Ha-Perihah
— Blooming, Sifriat Poalim), Benjamin
Tannenbaum (
Vmolim A l Ha-Saf
— Days Gone By, Sifriat
Poalim), and Zerubavel (
Shirim A l Yonatan
- Songs of Jon-
athan, Hakibutz Hameuhad). A new edition of the poems
of Israel Najara (
Zemirot Israel
- Songs of Israel) was published
by Mossad Harav Kook and poetic anthologies were edited
by Hayyim Toren (
Shirei Ahavah B-Yisrael
— Love songs in
Israel, Kiryat Sefer) and Yitzhak Ogen (
Shirah Iv r i t
— Hebrew
Poetry, M. Newman).
The crop of novels and stories included works by older as well
as younger men. Hayyim Hazaz gave us the second part of his
novel of Yemenite life,
(Am Oved), dealing with the ex-
periences of an exotic character. Moshe Smilansky issued a
volume of stories
Bain Karme Yehuda
(In the Vineyards of
*Adapted and translated by Jacob Kabakoff.