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Articles tagged "Hebrew"

From “Raking Light from Ashes”

Warsaw was awoken by a cold winter morning in January of 1943 that illuminated it with sad, gray light. Relli stirred in her sleep. She heard voices beyond the thick blanket that covered her up to the top of her head. Strange, she thought. It wasn’t Mommy’s voice, or Daddy’s, or even Grandpa’s . . . who could it be, so close to her? She tried to peek out without revealing herself, but saw nothing. She tried to stretch beneath the blanket and realized she...

Mass Grave

An Epitaph for all our Friends Denied a Tomb and especially for my Cousin, whose Body was Dumped in a Mass Grave They found my cousin’s body in a mass grave.  Our truck wasn't the only one turned away by this prison because it was overcrowded. Actually, many trucks, which were so crowded with men they swayed, were rejected by this prison. The guard repeated respectfully to each driver, “If I could, I would make room for your load.” Then the...

The Fall

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It parachuted down.


New in Hebrew: Shifra Cornfeld’s \“The Second Half of the Night\”

My husband and I both read The Second Half of the Night, by Shifra Cornfeld, in one breathless week, so excited about it that I can’t even recall who read it first and who passed it on to whom. Then we gave it to a friend. Then quickly took it back so we could give it to our mothers. It was a gift that had to keep moving, making the rounds, so that no one would be left out.          Cornfeld’s personal history is quickly becoming the stuff of lore to...

Hunting for Trilobites: An Interview with Dror Burstein

I met Dror Burstein on a cool May morning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His wry, slow-burning humor is easy to relate to the gently idiosyncratic style of his writing. Words without Borders published his story “The Dakar Courier” in 2010, and I was fresh off reading Netanya, his latest book to appear in English (just released by Dalkey Archive Press in a mesmerizing translation by Todd Hasak-Lowy). We talked about the lack of trilobites in Hebrew literature (the...

Ludwig and I Kill Hitler for No Reason (or, A Berlin Springtime)

"Another piece of pepperoni?" Ludwig offered generously. "Thanks, I'm full." I patted my stomach. "Full," Ludwig repeated the word, enchanted. "It's been so long since I heard that word." He glanced affectionately at the pepperoni stick lying on the uncovered table, as if looking at an old friend who'd helped him relive a pleasant childhood experience, and stroked the peel nostalgically. From time to time, they could hear the shelling out there and if you pressed your...

Review

After the intermission, when they prepped the audience and warmed them up with an acrobatic display, clowns, and other supporting acts, the second part began, the main one, the part with the adored women. Wind instruments, festive but refined, herald the entrance of the star Dolly Scheinwald. She strides erect. She is very beautiful. Her form draped in a black dress with a deep reveal, her hair black and her alto a sensual rasp. Two bachelor spectators, high in the gods, know she’ll...

No Way Out: Talking to Orly Castel-Bloom, Agur Schiff, and Moshe Ron

Orly Castel-Bloom is getting ready to leave. “I’ll buy an apartment in Montpelier,” she said. “I’ll write policiers. I’ll tell the French about themselves. They love hearing about themselves. I’ll be a sort of Trojan horse.” The landscape she’ll be leaving behind, if she ever does leave, is like a small snow globe that perfectly captures the thrills and tumults of the society it represents. Being a small country in perpetual...

Diary

At eight in the morning I looked at my watch and it was eight o’clock. At nine-thirty I looked at my watch and it was nine-thirty. At eleven in the morning I looked at my watch and it was ten to eleven. At twelve noon I looked at my watch and it was twenty to twelve. At one in the afternoon I looked at my watch and it was twelve-twenty. At four in the afternoon I looked at my watch and it was twelve-twenty. And at quarter past five when I looked at my watch it was still...

from “What You Wished For”

The Kid was back. Ziggy heard the dog’s toenails clicking on the floor while he did his usual dance. But for the Kid the dog also added yelps of joy to the ritual. The dog was more attached to the Kid than to Ziggy, or to his Wife or to the Uncle, who was his original owner. “Lucky, you goddamn sonofabitch you,” Ziggy heard the Kid say to the dog in a babyish tone of affection. He was seventeen, his only son, tall and thin and fair-eyed like his mother, clumsy and...

Meir Shalev’s “My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner”

Back in the 1920s, Sigmund Freud was presenting his theories on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder—“unquestionably the most interesting” area of analytic research, in his opinion—little aware that in Palestine there lived a young Russian Jewish settler whose extreme aversion to dirt, and the complex routines she developed to cope with that aversion, would have made for a uniquely valuable case study. Happily for psychological posterity and for us, Tonia Ben-Barak and her...

From “Ode to The Dove”

Trapped on the lips are sounds, like pearls of forts oceanate are mute for thousands of years, and over the muteness—a blade. "Dove darling, childhood's child, let the lips speak, give them speech Become now the cry of the sounds, or else the dream is extinct . . ." A sudden kiss on my lips. Who and where am I? Finally The locks all unlock themselves. Muteness is cut by a knife. Pearls, pearls, and pearls, with secret rushes of sea Raining from my lips now. A pearly...

Islamorada

During the twilight hours of one day in January, the professor and his wife arrived at a small motel on the beach at Islamorada, and checked in. After the New Year’s Eve parties, the place had emptied of guests.  It was hot and humid. Seaweed and snails piled up along the main road. Alongside the boats that docked in the marina, pelicans stood like statues on beams of rotted wood. The couple were exhausted and sweaty after their long drive.  They showered, changed into...

from “Soul Mate”

My father-in-law, Feibush, arrived unannounced at my doorstep in the middle of the week. I was writing out a mezuzah and so, fortunately, my cabinet of secular books was closed. Feibush’s eyes brightened when he saw the parchment, the quill in my hand, and the large yarmulke upon my head. Only when his gaze rested upon the closed book cabinet did a kind of cloud descend over his face. I suspected that he knew full well what trials and tribulations hid upon those shelves. And though...

from “Almost Dead”

I climbed aboard the Little No. 5 as I did every morning on my way to work. “Little No. 5” is what I call the minibus-sized cab which follows the route of the No. 5 bus. It’s actually a cross between a bus and a cab. You get the best of both worlds—the familiar route and the cheapness of the bus, but they’ve got the speed of a cab and you can hail them and get off where you like. And since there are bombs all the time, I only ever took Little No. 5s to work...

Interviews Etgar Keret on Tradition, Translation, and Alien Toasters

Adam Rovner interviews Etgar Keret as part of WWB's month-long discussion of Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge. You can find links to other posts and essays in this series at the bottom of the page, and feel free to join in the discussion in the blogs, all this month.—Editors Adam Rovner: Readers seem to be drawn to Israeli literature because of their interest in the political conflicts of the Middle East. Yet your work is only obliquely political, and you yourself...

from “Seven Moral Failings”

Now was the time to ask for a recommendation from David. In fact, he had already intended to raise the subject at their morning meeting, but then that student had appeared, whose name, he discovered, he had forgotten again, and the whole matter had dissolved. He really had to find supplementary sources of income, now that he'd retired. He couldn't depend only on his pension. That was especially true in New York, where the cost of living had become intolerable. Fisher planned to...

The Creature

Copyright 2006 by Guy Morad. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2006 by Riva Hocherman. All rights reserved.

The Eternal Invalid and the Beloved

I A young man, an eternal invalid, loved a girl, but she was merely fond of him. They met for a while and even kissed. How did this come about? As far as the invalid was concerned, it was clear: he loved her passionately. As for the beloved girl, one should explain that she met the young man during a transition period between one lover and the next, and the eternal invalid took advantage of this brief pause in her life to enter it as a lover without any protest from the beloved. The...

The Nimrod Flipout by Etgar Keret

Almost all of the thirty (very) short stories in Etgar Keret's wonderfully vivid collection, The Nimrod Flipout, take place against backdrops that are deceptively banal. Each site, though, eventually reveals a rupture, a tear in its seeming ordinariness through which the perverse, bizarre or fantastic is oozing in. Tremendously popular in his native Israel, Keret has consistently voiced a desire for his stories to explore and engender ambiguity and to challenge aspects of life that...

At Home in Exile: An Interview with Shimon Ballas

This interview appeared in slightly different form in Keys to the Garden: New Israeli Writing, edited and translated by Ammiel Alcalay (San Francisco: City Lights, 1996). Ammiel Alcalay: Starting with education, practically and in a wider sense, how were you formed as a writer? Shimon Ballas: One has to go very far back, to early childhood. I was always attracted to writing. I connected it to stories told at home and I used to try and write them down for myself. I was always a little...

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