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.
PARTIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE.
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
Kurzweil, Haaretz, 22.11.57