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Smilansky is Dead, Alas - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
August 22nd, 2006
05:56 pm


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Smilansky is Dead, Alas
One of my favorite authors, Yizhar Smilansky, better known by his nom de plume S. Yizhar, died yesterday morning, aged 89.

I am saddened and seized by desire to dive into his writings (most of which I am yet to read!). I don't know how much of him has been translated to English, but if you read Hebrew and don't know Yizhar, now is as good a time as any to get to know him. I highly recommend beginning with the book חרבת חיזעה וסיפורים אחרים, which contains four short works of his, including the (in)famous story that gives the volume its name.

If you're too lazy to go to a bookstore and don't yet own it, ynet brings the first five paragraphs of that story (Hebrew), just to whet your appetite. Read it slowly, take each sentence in. Especially the fourth paragraph; I urge you to read it complete at least twice, for great rewards.

We are left with his words.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:August 22nd, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
You know, when I heard about his death, wrapped with sadness
for losing yet another one of our cultural giants, I was thinking
about his life and legacy, and suddenly you came to my mind.
I had a flashback of one evening, years ago [you were still
in the army, I think], and you talked - with your typical passion :)-
about this book, and about his courage in both life and writing,
thanking Gurvitz [I think it was] for 'throwing' the book on you.

That was my first closer encounter with his writing,
and I have you to thank for that.
What a man. We are indeed left with his words.
May he rest in peace.
Date:August 23rd, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
I think Nitza Ben Ari is editing English editions of his work, though I'm not sure if anything was published yet.
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