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Letters from an Imaginary Journey

Lea Goldberg
Letters from an Imaginary Journey was Lea Goldberg`s first novel, and although many years have passed since it was first published, her sensitivity and her rich, conflicted inner world still fascinate. We discover new aspects of her work and from the vantage point of today, her observation of European culture in the years leading up to World War II is almost prophetic. The letters sent by Ruth, the protagonist, to Emanuel reveal a sad, unrequited affair. Ruth grieves over the absence of the man she loves and the failure of their relationship. Yet this never takes precedence over the central events in her life, particularly her journey to the major cities of western Europe in the summer and autumn of 1934. Whether this journey is real or imagined is unclear, but it brings out the writer`s deepest thoughts and feelings about European culture, and her sensitivity to its Zeitgeist and evil portents. Through Ruth, Lea Goldberg spreads before the reader her inner bond to the grandeur of European culture, as well as her fear that it will soon collapse. Finally, the two goodbyes in the correspondence - to Emanuel and to Europe - show this imagined journey to be equally a voyage into the writer`s soul. Indeed, her difficult love life and her cultural separation from Europe troubled her throughout her entire life.

Goldberg Letters from an Imaginary Journey
Title Letters from an Imaginary Journey
Author’s Last Name Goldberg
Author's First Name Lea
Language(s) Hebrew, German, Spanish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Davar
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1937
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 1982
Publisher 3 (Hebrew) extended ed. 2007
No. Pages 180 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Michtavim Mi-Nesi'a Meduma
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Frankfurt, Suhrkamp Judischer Verlag, 2003
Spanish: Valencia, Pre-Textos, 2006

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