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Israel in Translation

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Israel in Translation explores Israeli literature in English translation. From Biblical poetry to the yearning of Andalusia song, from memoirs of the founding of the State of Israel to contemporary speculative fiction, we will explore Israel’s literary countryside, cityscapes, and psychological terrain, and the lives of the people who create it.

Israel in Translation explores Israeli literature in English translation. From Biblical poetry to the yearning of Andalusia song, from memoirs of the founding of the State of Israel to contemporary speculative fiction, we will explore Israel’s literary countryside, cityscapes, and psychological terrain, and the lives of the people who create it.
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United States

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Israel in Translation explores Israeli literature in English translation. From Biblical poetry to the yearning of Andalusia song, from memoirs of the founding of the State of Israel to contemporary speculative fiction, we will explore Israel’s literary countryside, cityscapes, and psychological terrain, and the lives of the people who create it.

Language:

English


Episodes

Remembering Amos Oz, Part 2

1/16/2019
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This podcast is the second in our two-part long-good-bye to the extraordinary writer, Amos Oz, who passed away on Friday, Dec. 28. Marcela provides a long excerpt from Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land, translated by Jessica Cohen. The excerpt comes from the essay “Many Lights, Not one Light.” Text: Amos Oz, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land. Translated by Jessica Cohen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.

Duration:00:09:11

Savoring the Poetic Artistry of Nadia Adina Rose

1/9/2019
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When Nadia Adina Rose describes her art, she might also be describing her poetry. In her artist statement section of her website, she notes the importance of memory and childhood imagination in her work: Reality is also the space of memory, which takes us back to our childhood – when we used to be free of the banal, limiting experience; when imagination and the feeling of surprise evoked by objects formed the basis of our perception. In childhood, everything is “as if”: the picture on the...

Duration:00:09:03

Remembering Amos Oz

1/3/2019
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This episode is dedicated to Amos Oz, who passed away on Friday, Dec. 28, after a short battle of cancer at the age of 79. We’ll feature his latest book, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land, which was published in November in Jessica Cohen’s English translation. Text: Amos Oz, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land. Translated by Jessica Cohen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.

Duration:00:11:10

Where Jesus Walked, Told Through 'Arabesques'

12/26/2018
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This week we're broadcasting a timely re-run of a past episode. As Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas, we travel to the Galilee through the eyes of the novelist Anton Shammas, a native of the Galilee. In honor of Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, host Marcela Sulak reads three excerpts from Shammas' novel Arabesques, which has been called, “a history of its author’s youth and the memoir of a family and a fabled region - Galilee.” One of the most striking features of the...

Duration:00:08:20

“A Very Cheerful Girl”

12/19/2018
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Hedva Harechavi is an early feminist voice in contemporary Hebrew poetry, and, as you will hear, her work often combines the language of prayer and biblical texts with contemporary daily realities. Her first book, Because He Is King, won the Rachel Newman Poetry Award and established her as a poet. Harechavi's eight subsequent poetry collections have won all the major Israeli prizes. She was born on the kibbutz Degania, and lives in Jerusalem. Text: Hedva Harechavi, “A Very Cheerful...

Duration:00:10:30

“My Feet in Boots and My Heart in My Feet”

12/12/2018
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This podcast is dedicated to anyone who has trouble finding shoes that fit—especially boots, during the Israeli rainy season! On this episode, Marcela reads an excerpt from Raquel Chalfi’s poem German Boot, translated by Tsipi Keller. Text: German Boot” by Raquel Chalfi. Poets on the Edge. An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry. Selected and translated by Tsipi Keller. SUNY Press, 2008. Previous Chalfi podcast

Duration:00:09:10

Mendele Mokher Seforim's “What is Chanukah?”

12/5/2018
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Tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah, and to celebrate, Marcela reads an abridgement from Mendele Mokher Serforim’s short story, “What is Chanukah?” It features two speakers, Shmuel, for whom a Hanukkah miracle occurred, and his friend Ignatz. Text: Mendele Mokher Serforim, “What is Chanukah?” translated by Herbert J. Levine and Reena Spicehandler in Jewish Fiction Yitzi Hurwitz, “To Make the Darkness Itself Shine” Music: Maoz Tzur by Yosef Karduner Al Hanissim by Yonina

Duration:00:12:05

Bernstein's Loveliest Love Poetry

11/28/2018
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Here’s a little love poem for you, by Ory Bernstein, who is responsible for some of the loveliest love poetry written in Hebrew. It’s from A One and Only Love, which was translated by Bernstein himself. Text: Ory Bernstein, A One and Only Love, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2002. Raquel Chalfi, Ory Bernstein, Shimon Adaf, Kaleidoscope: Three Poets from Israel, Mosaic Press 2014.

Duration:00:08:52

On Writing the Fantastic: Part 2

11/21/2018
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Last week we heard the first part of this two-part podcast featuring Shimon Adaf in his and Lavie Tidhar’s 2016 multigenre collaboration Art & War: Poetry, Pulp and Politics in Israeli Fiction. This week we feature Lavie Tidhar. The book is a dialogue about Adaf and Tidhar's approach to writing the fantastic, writing about Israel and Palestine, about Judaism, about the Holocaust, about childhoods and their end. What is especially exciting is that this book extends the conversation even...

Duration:00:08:17

On Writing the Fantastic: Part 1

11/14/2018
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Shimon Adaf and Lavie Tidhar's new book, Art & War: Poetry, Pulp and Politics in Israeli Fiction, is a dialogue about their approach to writing the fantastic, writing about Israel and Palestine, about Judaism, about the Holocaust, about childhoods and their end. What is especially exciting is that this book extends the conversation even into their own fiction--and the book ends with two new short stories – Tutim by Tidhar, and Third Attribute by Adaf – in which each appears as a character...

Duration:00:08:15

The Eco-Poetry of Sabina Messeg

11/8/2018
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“Sabina Messeg is a rare nature poet”, writes author and literary scholar Ariel Hirshfeld. “The existence of streams, boulders and plants are fateful for her, which differentiates her from most Jewish poets writing in Hebrew. Messeg truly sees nature as the great Other in her life. Her poetry cautions us about its tremendous beauty, complete innocence and terrible fragility.” Messeg is a particular kind of “nature poet,” though—in fact, she is considered the founder of Israeli eco-poetry....

Duration:00:06:18

I am Dareen Tatour

10/31/2018
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On this episode, Marcela reads poetry by Israeli-Arab poet Dareen Tatour, who was recently released after a nearly three and a half year legal battle resulting from her incarceration for incitement to violence and supporting terrorist organizations in social media posts. The incitement was specifically located in her poems, which were used as evidence in Tatour’s trials and hearings. Text: Poetry by Dareen Tatour, translated by Andrew Leber in Brooklyn Rail Jack Khoury, Haaretz, (second...

Duration:00:09:54

The Short Shorts of Alex Epstein

10/24/2018
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Born in 1971 in St. Petersburg, Alex Epstein moved to the Israeli city of Lod when he was eight years old. His short stories are sometimes as short as a single sentence, and have been described as examples of the “philosophical, or allegorical short-short story.” He has published three novels and eight collections of stories in Hebrew. Text: Blue Has No South by Alex Epstein, translated by Becka mara McKay, Clockroot Books, 2010. Lunar Savings Time by Alex Epstein, translated by Becka...

Duration:00:05:49

Dinner with Joachim

10/17/2018
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On this episode of Israel in Translation, Marcela reads three of the six parts of Sharron Hass’s long poem “Dinner With Joachim,” which appears in the most recent issue of the journal Two Lines. “Dinner with Joachim” is from the collection Daylight, which is a critical inquiry into light as the root of rational thought. Text: Sharron Hass, “Dinner with Joachim” translated by Marcela Sulak. Two Lines 29

Duration:00:10:48

Simple, True, and Authentic: The Poetry of Mordechai Geldman

10/10/2018
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Mordechai Geldman’s work is often informed by his career as a psychotherapist. “My poetry comes from the inner void that meditation creates,” Geldman writes in his preface to his collected works. Tsipi Keller, who translated Geldman's most recent collection, describes his poetic persona as “Routinely solitary, whether on foot or on his bike, Geldman is a tourist in his own town; Tel Aviv, especially his neighborhood near Kikar Milano, which plays an important role in the...

Duration:00:06:39

Farewell to the Alexandrian Summer

10/3/2018
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This episode originally aired Oct. 14th, 2015. In this episode, host Marcela Sulak reads an excerpt from Yitzhak Gormezano Goren's Alexandrian Summer, his first novel to be translated into English. In this semi-autobiographical work, Robby, aged ten and accompanied by his parents, leaves his home in Alexandria in 1951 to rejoin his two brothers who had already moved to Israel. In this extract, three generations of the family are sitting together in their home in Alexandria, reading a...

Duration:00:08:54

I, Kohelet, Son of David, King in Jerusalem

9/26/2018
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It’s Sukkot—which lasts seven days in Israel and eight days outside of Israel. A sukkah is the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting in ancient days. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and some choose to sleep there. During Sukkot, it is customary to read Kohelet, or Ecclesiastes, to remind us how fleeting life is, and that we should seek a deeper meaning besides the fulfillment of material goods. No one knows for sure who wrote the book of...

Duration:00:08:00

A Story for Yom Kippur by S. Y. Agnon

9/19/2018
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For this Yom Kippur, we read a section of S. Y. Agnon's Twofold translated by Jeffrey Saks. Text: Twofold, by S. Y. Agnon, trans. Jeffrey Saks, in The Outcast and Other Tales. Toby Press, 2017

Duration:00:06:32

Poems for These Days of Repentance

9/12/2018
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Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the ten days known as the Days of Awe. Today we feature works by Yehuda Amichai and Ibn Gavirol fitting of these Days of Repentance. Text: The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, edited by Robert Alter. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2015. Vulture in a Cage. Poems of Ibn Gavirol. Translated by Raymond P. Scheindlin. Archipelago Books, 2016 Music: Exploring the Convoluted Singularity by OKAM vs ps

Duration:00:06:25

Poems of Isaac for Rosh Hashanah 5779

9/5/2018
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Next week, from Sunday night until Wednesday at sunset, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. This year, Marcela focuses on the figure of Isaac, son of Abraham, because the Torah readings for both days of the holiday focus on Sarah’s conceiving and giving birth to Isaac, Hagar’s banishment into the desert, and also on the binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah. Text: Amir Gilboa, “Isaac,” translated by Arieh Sachs in The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself, ed. Stanley Burnshaw, T. Carmi,...

Duration:00:08:54