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Matisse Has the Sun in His Belly

Judith Katzir
Judith Katzir`s first novel describes a sensual, addictive love story between a woman in her twenties and a man twice her age. It is also the story of someone destined to be an author, who after love has died will turn her experience into a work of literature. Rivvy, a university student, spends her free time watching old movies, leafing through dusty books in an old book store in Tel Aviv, and dreaming of becoming a writer. One night, as she is going back to her rented apartment, a car pulls up beside her and the driver offers her a flower. This random meeting which sounds like something out of a cheap romance novel, develops into true love between Rivvy and Yigal, a married man who is a mathematics professor and possesses an unusual sensitivity and knowledge about art and literature. Yigal plays the role of the educated lover in Rivvy`s life, who opens the latch to world culture while also serving as a father figure (Rivvy`s own father left home, an act she interprets as a father`s abandonment and betrayal of his daughter). The affair between Rivvy and Yigal accelerates when the two, traveling through Egypt, Italy, France and Spain, are exposed to cultural treasures and to the wonders that man has created. But the affair is doomed to end, and the fading relationship is paralleled to the waning of Rivvy`s mother, a once beautiful woman now turned ugly by the cancer growing inside her. After her mother`s death and after she leaves Yigal, Rivvy will begin her journey again. Through her writing she will save her love from banality and from being forgotten, granting it immortality.


English translation available (for publishers only)


Title Mattisse Has the Sun in His Belly
Author’s Last Name Katzir
Author's First Name Judith
Language(s) German, French, Dutch, Polish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1995
No. Pages 216 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Le-Matisse Yesh Et Ha-Shemesh Ba-Beten
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

Dutch: Amsterdam, Vassallucci, 1997
German: Zurich, Ammann, 1997; pback: Munich, btb, 1999
French: Paris, Joelle Losfeld, 2003
Polish: Cracow, Emg, 2007
 
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