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Requiem to a Bird

1987, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A lecturer who does not identify himself by his name teaches a single course about the bird in Hebrew poetry. Most of the students think the course is a nightmare. But one student, when relating his memories years later, felt that the course paved secret pathways into his heart and gradually changed his life. What was that lecturer, who earned himself the nickname “the Bird” trying to do? Was he attempting to resurrect forgotten poets, or was he be seeking the hidden lives of his students? Was he interested in literary representations of winged creatures, or could this have been his attempt to grow wings for himself and his students, to teach them to soar above and beyond the words and the gravitational pull of this world? What about those who responded to the Bird’s call and flew in its wake—would they ever find their way back to the ground?

Shahar Bram’s novella is a modern version of the Icarus story. In its restrained style it explores the ability of an individual to tap into the core of another person’s loneliness.

Title Requiem to a Bird
Writer's Last Name Bram
Writer's First Name Shahar
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Kadimah
No. Pages 104pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Requiem Le'Zipor
  • “This novella is musical and delicately written... It has genuine spiritual power—a pretty rare thing”

    Arik Glasner, Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “A wonderful and moving book, one of the most beautiful that I’ve read in Hebrew”