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A Drop of Silence

Yossl Birstein
There is a bus route in Upper Nazareth that, to judge from the passengers, stops in Georgia, Morocco and India. Among the characters observed are old night-watchmen, men in long white pantaloons, a Parisian drunk who asks a wall to move, side-street hawkers and the peanut man. There is also writer Yossl Birstein, who knows that he often appears as odd as the people he describes; in Birstein's world everyone does.
These vignettes are made up of 30 or 40 lines, encompassing a rich plot and a penetrating image of humanity, muted by Birstein's tolerance and humor. Two pages may contain whole lives and continents, but no accessories or frills.
Birstein’s vignettes are set in Israel, but the people carry the baggage of the Jewish diaspora. Memory and imagination fuse two worlds, sometimes three.

Critic Menahem Perry draws a comparison between Birstein's view and that of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who digressed to tell stories and observations, noting the bizarre and the offbeat. That way, he implied, truth is to be found. As critic Jeffrey Green noted, Yiddish is there, too: "The substratum of Birstein's native language adds depth, for the writer's insights are first filtered through a world-wise folk language."

English translation available (for publishers only)

Birstein A Drop of Silence
Title A Drop of Silence
Author’s Last Name Birstein
Author's First Name Yossl
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1986
No. Pages 240 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ketem Shel Sheket: Ktzartzarim
Representation Represented by ITHL



Professional program of literary translation 2018 September 3rd - November 11th - CITL of Arles (France) November 22 - 27 - Tel Aviv (Israel) Deadline for filing applications with the CITL: Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Details in the link below
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
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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!

The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
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, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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