Nicholas De Lange, Yaacob Dweck

25/02/2008 4:15 pm

S. Yizhar (1916–2006) was widely considered the finest of native-born Israeli writers. His books and stories are marked by a deep love of the landscape of the Land of Israel and by a profound concern for moral questions, as well as by an original and distinctive Hebrew style.

Preliminaries, published in Hebrew as Mikdamot in 1992 and translated by Nicholas de Lange, is the first of his books to have been translated into English. This autobiographical novel retraces the author’s life as a child in Tel Aviv during the period of the British Mandate, against the backdrop of Zionist settlement, economic hardship, and the building of the city on the sand dunes.

Khirbet Hiz’eh, translated by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck, narrates the story of a single episode during the 1948 war, when a company of Israeli soldiers carry out a mission to clear and destroy an Arab village. The story raises very uncomfortable questions, and has provoked controversy since it was first published in 1949.

Both translators spoke about the books and introduced a screening of films based on them.

Nicholas De Lange

Nicholas de Lange has written a number of books about Judaism and about Jewish history, specialising in Greek-speaking Judaism. His latest book is The Jews of Byzantium. He is the Visiting Rabbi of the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Haniá, Crete.

Yaacob Dweck