Dory Manor started publishing poems in the early 1990s, and attracted a lot of attention even before his first book came out. Also his statements about Israeli poetry provoked stormy debates, because of his effort to return classical rhythmic and lyrical patterns to center stage, the rhyme and meter that Israeli verse had abandoned in the middle of the last century.The Center of the Flesh is a provisional collection of two decades of Manor’s poems. Into them he pours the materials of his life: childhood and adolescence; sexuality and love; life in Europe, especially Paris, and his return to Tel Aviv; his attitude to cultural heroes distant in time and space, as well as to friends and lovers. Erotic and homosexual elements dominate his work, and he examines the human condition through its affinity to them. As such, it is minority poetry, defiant of heterosexual poets, free in form and meter. And Manor also connects his homosexuality to his Jewish identity as two types of minority.
Dory Manor is both cosmopolitan and typically Israeli. On the one hand he follows the “great poetry” tradition, revealing a fine sense of musicality drawn from the French symbolists of the late 19th century and their followers. On the other, his poetics are adapted to contemporary reality and express a subversive, innovative and original quality.
ENGLISH AND FRENCH TRANSLATIONS AVAILABLE (for publishers only).
Dory Manor is the most important poet of his generation. An extraordinarily gifted poet and translator, his work combines linguistic and rhythmic virtuosity with a highly complex emotional depth and a striking expressiveness.
Prof. Chana Kronfeld, University of California, Berkeley
Qualitatively … Manor’s poetry is no less that "perfect" … Like a certain kind of statuette, the physical smallness of his poems does not deprive them of the expression of greatness and drive possessed by sculptures in city squares and streets, expression that gives them their rhetoric and music, as well as the density of their psychological and philosophical contents … By virtue of its inner perfection and moral and esthetic integrity, Manor’s poetry opens a window in the home of Israeli literature and allows a different spiritual air to flow into the stuffy rooms … It will not be possible to close that window. .
Prof. Dan Miron, Afterword to Manor's The Center of the Flesh
A book that is a milestone not only for Dory Manor himself, but for Hebrew poetry as a whole … Manor’s musical magic is in the rhetorical clarity and the lightness, which are perfectly constructed … This alchemical music has now been laid before us, and our breath is taken away, in gratitude.
Reviel Netz, Haaretz
Manor’s poetic perfectionism enables him to write only a small amount of verse, but this small amount has the broadest of implications and it carries great literary weight.
Eli Hirsh, Yedioth Ahronoth
The Center of the Flesh reinforces Manor’s image as the literary wunderkind who burst in out of nowhere and very quickly earned attention and appreciation.
Yoni Livneh, Yedioth Ahronoth
His exceedingly daring verse, personal and intimate, corresponds with universal cultural expanses. Manor has blazed a trail through his reformulation of the principles of meter and rhyme as central norms in poetry. He uses the Hebrew language marvelously, finding in it playful, musical, metaphorical elements, with strong echoes of the sources. This is a book of twenty years of original creativity which has influenced and is continuing to influence a large group of poets and writers.
The Yehuda Amichai Prize Committee, June 2015
A linguistic artist of the highest standard … A virtuoso who has had few equals in the annals of Hebrew poetry.
Yoram Bronovski, Haaretz
A milestone and a watershed in Hebrew poetry, if only because of his blessed audacity in beginning to think about poetry from the ABC, and to go back to it … Back to the basics: meter, rhyme, technique, perfection of form.
Benny Ziffer, Haaretz
The message of the new pathos sounds polished and prophetic … A rare talent for rhyme and rhythm … The rhyming is superb … Perhaps the time for great poetry is indeed on the way back … a time in which poetry can be the winner.
Menahem Ben, Zman Tel Aviv
He is a wonderful poet and translator … someone who has initiated a new stage in Hebrew poetry.
Kobi Meidan, Israeli Educational Television
It is wonderful because it combines the homosexual experience with this arrogance for changing the mold of poetry.
Yaron London, Channel 10 TV