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People of Sodom

Ehud Ben-Ezer
One day in the summer of 1958, four people come together in a hostel in Sodom on the Dead Sea, a city accursed according to the Bible because of its terrible inhabitants. The characters in the novel are a young Israeli officer named Zvi, 35-year-old Karl from Germany and an American couple, Daniel and Sarah, whose marriage has deteriorated. Their encounter, lasting less than 24 hours, not only reveals fascinating personal stories but becomes a springboard to fundamental questions: the unfinished reckoning between the German people and the Jewish people, the conflict between being an Israeli and being a Jew, Israeli affinity with the country`s recent and remote past and such moral issues as guilt, atonement, loyalty and betrayal. Karl, a former Luftwaffe pilot, comes to Israel to trace the footsteps of his father, who worked in the phosphate factory at Sodom in the 1930s and at the same time served the German Intelligence. He returned to Germany when war broke out, and fell on the Russian front. But Karl`s story is more complex, since he represents the German Christian who seeks to atone for his sins and those of his people. In contrast to him is Zvi, who also carries a burden of sin: as an officer he caused a soldier to be permanently disabled, which led to his own "exile" to Sodom. Zvi, a farmer`s son, feels himself to be completely Israeli but not at all Jewish. Jewish complexes are foreign to him, and sexual tension develops between him and Sarah. While Daniel is listening to Karl`s story, Zvi and Sarah have a passionate sexual encounter in a cave by the Dead Sea. Karl dies that very night – the eventual result of the serious lung injury sustained in his pilot days. Within the novel his stories unravel, one within another, as his father`s letters reveal the story of the Templars, the German Christians who established a number of colonies in Palestine in the latter half of the 19th century.
 


People of Sodom
Title People of Sodom
Author’s Last Name Ben-Ezer
Author's First Name Ehud
Language(s) Hebrew, German
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1968
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) rev. ed. Astrolog
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2001
No. Pages 359 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Anshei Sdom
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

German: Neu Isenburg, Semit Edition im Melzer, 2004  

Unease in Zion
English: New York, Quadrangle, 1974  

Sand Dunes and Blue Sky
Russian: Jerusalem, Aliya, 1990  

Sleepwalkers & Other Stories: The Arab in Hebrew Fiction (ed. Ehud Ben Ezer)
English: New York, Lynne Rienner, 1999; London, Lynne Rienner, 1999
Arabic: Lebanon, Dar al-Hamraa, 2001  

Hosni the Dreamer: An Arabian Tale
English: New York, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997; Canada HarperCollins , 1997
Afrikaans: Southafrica, Anansi, 1997 
Korean: Seoul, Kemongsa, 2002
 
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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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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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