Yoram Kaniuk. Himmo, King of Jerusalem

The interest and the complexity of Himmo, King of Jerusalem are heightened by its setting - a monastery in Jerusalem during the siege of 1948. This monastery has been converted into a hospital for wounded Israeli soldiers. Himmo is one of them, now no more than a blinded, truncated stump. Only his mouth still reminds one of the perfection which once earned him the title: King of Jerusalem. Hamutal, a nurse, has lost her fiance in the war and now devotes herself to what is left of Himmo. The doctors do not understand her spiritual crisis when she identifies with his suffering. They ask: What is true generosity - to allow Himmo to die, or to eke out what is left of his shattered life?
Outside in the city, shells are falling everywhere, a battle symphony into which these individual voices are orchestrated. And above the monastery, in a half-ruined belfry, hangs a bell - both a warning and a relief - which the wounded tug at.
The novel portrays Hamutal`s profound inner crisis as she decides to administer enough serum to kill Himmo.


Title Himmo, King of Jerusalem
Author’s Last Name Kaniuk
Author's First Name Yoram
Language(s) English, French
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1966
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2004
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Himmo Melech Yerushalayim
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

English: New York, Atheneum, 1969; London, Chatto & Windus. 1970 
French: Paris, Stock, 1971
Italian: Florence, Giuntina, 2018