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Abraham Mapu

Abraham Mapu (1808-1867) was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, the son of an penniless yet scholarly teacher. He soon acquired a reputation as a brilliant student. Following his marriage at age 17, Mapu continued his studies in the home of his wealthy father-in-law in Kaunas. After a brief flirtation with Hassidism, he resumed his interest in the Kabala and mysticism, fostered by his father. A chance encounter with a copy of the Psalms with a Latin translation aroused his interest and he taught himself Latin, a virtually unknown subject of study among pious Jews in Eastern Europe. Eventually he acquired a fair proficiency in French, German and Russian in spite of the hostility in his circles to the study of languages. He also dedicated himself to the study of Bible, Hebrew grammar and modern literature.
Throughout his life, Mapu struggled to provide a living for his family. He taught young children and tutored children of wealthy families. He wandered from Kaunas to Georgenberg, Rossyieny, Vilnius and back to Kaunas. During those years he was drawn to the Haskalah movement. Mapu became deeply interested in ancient Jewish history and decided that he should write in Hebrew.
In 1848 he was given a permanent teaching post in a government school and for the next ten years he enjoyed improved financial and domestic circumstances. Those were also his most fruitful literary years. From 1860 his health began to fail, and his second wife died after a long illness. It took him over ten years to complete his first novel, Ahavat Ziyyon (The Love of Zion). At first the censors forbid publication, but finally, the first Hebrew novel was published in 1853.
Ahavat Ziyyon won immediate acclaim and at least sixteen editions, as well as translation into many languages, attest to its continued popularity. Apart from his novels, Mapu published several books designed to improve the educational methods of his day.



Books Published in Hebrew
The Love of Zion (novel), Vilnius, I.R.Ram, 1853 [Ahavat Tzion]
Speckled Bird (novel), Vilnius, I.R.Ram, 1858-61-64 [Ayit Tzvua]
The Guilt of Samaria (novel), Vilnius, I.R.Ram, 1865-66 [Ashmat Shomron]            

Books in Translation            
The Love of Zion            
Arabic: Cairo, Al-Mabta`ah al-Khidiwiah, 1899            
English: London, Marshall Simpkin, 1887; New York, The People-The Land, 1902; New York, National Book, 1919; New York, Brookside, 1922; New Milford/London, Toby Press, 2006
French: Paris, Lipschutz, 1937; Paris, L. Rodstein, 1946            
German: Leipzig, Friedrich, 1885; Kauffmann, 1897            
Yiddish: Warsaw, Amkraut & Freund, 1874; Warsaw, Central, 1923; Warsaw, 1983; Lemberg, 1985
         





























































































































































Abraham Mapu

Books Published in Hebrew

Books in Translation

NEWS
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The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, birkenhauer@013.net and Gadi Goldberg, gadi.goldberg@gmail.com
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