Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Benjamin Tammuz  \ 

The Story Of Anton the Armenian and Other Stories

Benjamin Tammuz

In his third collection, Tammuz’s need to respond to historical events becomes clear, and the relationships between characters reflect the conflicts between nations. These are stories based on ideas, depicting the country’s urbanization and modernization, a new Israel built on the ruins of the authentic, rural Jewish-Arab country that it was during the early Zionist colonization. “The Swimming Race” is a response to the Israeli-Arab conflict, with the competition between a Jewish boy and an Arab boy becoming a metaphor for the struggle between the two peoples in which there are no winners, only losers. In “The Tale of the Olive Tree” Tammuz deplores the obtuseness of part of Israeli society towards cultural values, and their lack of historical awareness, compared to Arab society’s awareness of these values. The olive tree, a symbol of this country, also represents the stability and abundance of nature which are not affected by the vicissitudes of time. But the way the Jews chop down the olive tree shows their lack of rootedness in, and ties to the landscapes of the country to which they have returned.


I have a liking for Tammuz’s writing, you can always feel the artist in it – especially when he portrays episodes from his childhood, because they are so delicately and sensitively [crafted]… "Angioxyl, a Rare Cure" is a model story, have rarely come across anything like it … in modern Hebrew literature … In the excellent story “The Swimming Race” the past, illuminated by the eyes of a child, takes on an idyllic dimension.  

Moshe Dor [M. Bar-Yaakov], Maariv, 21.2.64

Concentrated, excellent stories … Tammuz’s language is economical, unadorned … On deeper reading, [I find] tones of poetry, subtle humor, true sadness, and spot-on descriptions … This book is without doubt an outstanding contribution to truly modern Hebrew literature, without any artificial melancholy or intentional nostalgia. A contribution that restores the basic significance of words: the truth. 

Moshe Ben-Shaul, Moznaim, June 1964

Title The Story of Anton the Armenian and Other Stories
Author’s Last Name Tammuz
Author's First Name Benjamin
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Machbarot Lesifrut
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1964
No. Pages 232 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Sipur Anton Ha-Armeni Ve-Sipurim Acherim
Representation Represented by ITHL