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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Wednesday 30 November 2005

Yaakov Shabtai

Duckworth, who I mentioned earlier today because, in January, they are releasing William T Vollmann's Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom, and Urgent Means, are also the publishers of Yaakov Shabtai. About Shabtai's Past Continuous Steven G. Kellman's said:

[T]hough her translation from Hebrew is otherwise supple and fluent, Dalya Bilu chose to divide the quick, dense mass of Shabtai’s original into discrete paragraphs and to introduce punctuation not present in Zikhron Devarim. The novel becomes more accessible, though at the cost of compromising Shabtai’s Heraclitean vision. Even so, Past Continuous is not an easy book to get into, though it is nearly impossible to get out of. Moving testimony to the fleetingness of all we encounter, it has earned an enduring place in contemporary Hebrew fiction.

(For all of Steven G. Kellman's review of Past Continuous.)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Reader Comments

Wednesday 30 November 2005

Stephen Mitchelmore says...

I always thought this book was Bernhard with warmth, but on second reading I found it much darker. Didn't know the literal translation so that was interesting. Dalya Bilu is a great translator - it's a shame she doesn't translate Appelfeld anymore.

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An entire night
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