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Past Continuous

Yaakov Shabtai
Past Continuous depicts the crises in the lives of three Israeli men - Goldman, Israel and Caesar - as they attempt to focus their lives and to extract some meaning from chaos. The book opens with Goldman's suicide, which triggers innumerable flashbacks to the events that led up to it. Shabtai's subtle stream of consciousness technique draws us into an endless morass of family tangles and social exhaustion - wives and ex-wives, passing mistresses and crushing marriages, desperate intrigues and disappointments, the loss of children, friends, ideals - and back again to the lives of Goldman and his father, constantly moving between the living past and the dead present, as though there were not much difference between them. At times it appears that the real protagonist of the book is the city of Tel Aviv - its landscape, its idiosyncratic atmosphere and its history.

Yaakov Shabtai belongs to that rare category of authors whose oeuvre is small but brilliant and incomparably splendid. His images become engraved in our memory and will not leave.
Le Monde

A portrait of contemporary Israeli society that is, to my mind, the most prodigious (and probably realistic) yet in Hebrew fiction....[It] is a portrait with Balzacian breadth.
The New York Times 

I cannot recall, these past several years, having encountered a new work of fiction that has engaged me as sharply as Past Continuous, both for its brilliant, formal inventiveness and for its relentless, truth-seeking scrutiny of moral life.
Irving Howe, New York Review of Books

Past Continuous is extraordinary.  
New Republic

Past Continuous
Title Past Continuous
Author’s Last Name Shabtai
Author's First Name Yaakov
Language(s) Hebrew, English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Siman Kriah/ University Publishing Projects
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1977
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 1985; 1994
No. Pages 282 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Zichron Dvarim
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1985; New York, Pantheon/Schocken, 1989; New York, Overlook Press, 2002; London, Duckworth, 2004
Spanish: Barcelona, Muchnik, 1988
German: Frankfurt, Devorah/Alibaba, 1990; pback: Frankfurt, Fischer, 1993
French: Arles, Actes Sud, 1992; pback: Babel, 2007
Dutch: Amsterdam, Arena, 1993
Italian: Rome, Theoria, 1994; pback: Milan, Feltrinelli, 1998; rev. ed.: Milan, Feltrinelli, 2006
Chinese: Guangzhou, Flower City, 1995
Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro, Imago, 1996
Turkish: Istanbul, Aylak Adam, forthcoming  
"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
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.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
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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