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Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

A Garden Enclosed

In his second collection, Tammuz included stories that are very different from those in the first: they are satirical, grotesque and topical, sketching a portrait of Israeli society after the 1948-49 War of Independence. Here, Tammuz becomes a critic of contemporary Israeli society, condemning the vulgarity and ugliness of modern urban reality. It is a world of immaculate offices, cafés and hotels, or a psychiatrist’s clinic, but it also contains “Mizrahi” Jews from Arab countries who retain all their simplicity and authenticity. With the help of technology, the hero lives out all the little lies that make up his existence, while genuine communication between people and a true connection to the outside world are almost non-existent. The characters adapt nimbly to any situation, language or place; they are preoccupied with their careers, their world is vacuous and sterile, and they have no spiritual ties to anything. The artistic activity of some characters is merely imitative–whether they be stage actors or writers. They have no outstanding creative energy, and the narrator relates to them with sarcasm.

Title A Garden Enclosed
Writer's Last Name Tammuz
Writer's First Name Benjamin
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Schocken
No. Pages 129pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Gan Na'ul
  • “An interesting and important collection … Tammuz tackles the Israeli way of life from a new perspective, one that forgoes all cheap effects … [he makes] an honest effort to shake off the provincial banality of the Israeli short story. …Tammuz’s great linguistic skill, his economical use of words, of dialogue, and in particular of delicate situations, are what determine the value of these stories.”