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To Free an Elephant

Daniella Carmi
With sensitivity, humor and a greal deal of originality, Daniella Carmi describes the world of people incarcerated in a Jerusalem mental institution. This lyrical novel tells the story of the patients from their own point of view rather than from that of the observer.
The mentally ill are depicted as amphibious creatures or as pajama-clad infants at the beginning of their evolutionary development. Then there are the doctors and nurses, who blend into the virtual reality created by the patients. Madness is conceived here as a kind of escape into a primeval state, and as a struggle to emerge from the primordial soup onto dry land. This process passes through swamps, islands, mountains and fields, and the narrator does not attempt to analyze it in psychological terms. Therein lies the power of the book: it creates another reality that the reader can sense and identify with.
While this is the story of Maurice, Alex and Arik, each with an identity and memories of his own, it is above all the story of the narrator, who is fleeing from her childhood memories, cut off from a mother who is in some remote country. Once she used to write appeals for help on railway carriages; now that she is an adult, she travels by train to a meeting with the "elephant liberator," since the elephant symbolizes intelligence, power and freedom. The book contains photographs of psychiatric hospitals in Jerusalem, all of which belonged to Palestinians in the pre-State period. In this way, Carmi hints at the parallelism between the situation of the Palestinians and the condition of mental patients in Israel, who are rejected by society, but are released, go out into the world and try to live - despite everything - within the Israeli experience.


Excerpts available in French translation (for publishers only)
 

Title To Free an Elephant
Author’s Last Name Carmi
Author's First Name Daniella
Genre novella
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2001
No. Pages 133 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Leshachrer Pil: Masa Bricha Mi-Zichronot Yaldut Mefukpakim
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

 
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Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
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Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
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Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 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: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 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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