Dan Tsalka. A Thousand Hearts [2 vols.]

A Thousand Hearts is an epic novel, sweeping across several continents and touching on many of the turbulent events of the 20th century. The brilliant young architect, Ezra Marinsky, sails to Mandatory Palestine on the 'Ruslan', (the Zionist equivalent of the 'Mayflower'). The voyage encircles the Jewish Diaspora, navigating through an interwoven tapestry of stories, inner monologues and invocations. Marinsky arrives in Palestine and meets the Englishmen who rule the land, the emerging Jewish elite and its greatest poet. Despite his sublime Palladian vision and his dream of immortality, he designs Tel Aviv's buildings on a minor scale. The novel moves from Palestine to Poland to Samarkand, introducing a medley of fascinating characters against ever-shifting backdrops. The scene moves from the lovely villa of a Polish prince to a dusty street in oriental Samarkand, where a donkey dies under its load. We meet the gifted Alec Cherniak, Marinksy's daughter Madi, Judge Rieti and his son Yuli, and a Korean who worships Stalin.
Structured upon the Renaissance distinction between the four stages of drawing, this novel creates a uniquely innovative aesthetic order. Polyphonic and fragmentary elements, myth and legend, all combine in a masterful rendition of epic history and its devastating effect on human aspirations and emotions.

A great novel, gigantic and wondrous... Too much time has elapsed (a century? half-a-century?) since Hebrew prose has celebrated such an event.
Critic Eli Hirsh 

A grand, giant colorful canvas of profound depth.

What is beautiful here...is the descriptive and linguistic wealth of the author. It would seem that there is no other Israeli writer who could portray with so much vitality a hospital in Samarkand and the Korean patient in it who praises Stalin.

A Thousand Hearts is a marvel and a paradox that impassions the mind and excites the imagination.
Critic Dan Daor

Tsalka A Thousand Hearts
Title A Thousand Hearts
Author’s Last Name Tsalka
Author's First Name Dan
Language(s) Hebrew, German
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1991
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) new ed. Xargol/ Am Oved
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2008
No. Pages 837 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Elef Levavot
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Stuttgart/Munich, dva, 2002; pback: Munich, dtv, 2006