Khirbet Khizeh

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Overview


Fiction. Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck. Afterword by David Shulman. This classic 1949 novella about the violent expulsion of Palestinian villagers by the Israeli army has long been considered a high point in Hebrew literature, as it has also given rise to fierce controversy over the years. Published just months after the end of the 1948 war (in which the author fought) the book—as famous for Yizhar's haunting, lyrical style as for its wrenchingly honest soldier's-eye view of ...
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Khirbet Khizeh: A Novel

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Overview


Fiction. Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck. Afterword by David Shulman. This classic 1949 novella about the violent expulsion of Palestinian villagers by the Israeli army has long been considered a high point in Hebrew literature, as it has also given rise to fierce controversy over the years. Published just months after the end of the 1948 war (in which the author fought) the book—as famous for Yizhar's haunting, lyrical style as for its wrenchingly honest soldier's-eye view of the brutality of that war and, perhaps, all wars—has never before been translated into English. De Lange and Dweck's rendering captures with force Yizhar's unflinching portrait of Israel's primal scene. An absolute must for anyone interested in Middle Eastern literature and history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789659012596
  • Publisher: IBIS Editions
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 822,489
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Yizhar Smilansky (27 September 1916 - 21 August 2006), better known by his pen name S. Yizhar, was an Israeli writer and a great innovator in modern Hebrew literature. His pen name was given to him by the poet and editor Yitzhak Lamdan, when in 1938 he published Yizhar's first story "Ephraim Goes Back to Alfalfa" in his literary journal Galleons. From then on, Yizhar signed his works with his pen name.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    A long-awaited English translation

    Khirbet Khizeh, first published in 1949 and written by an intelligence officer in the Israeli army, is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has long been unavailable in an English translation until now. The story begins, ¿True, it all happened a long time ago, but it has haunted me ever since.¿ The ¿it¿ which the narrator refers to in the novel's first sentence is the expulsion, dispossession, and brutal treatment of the Palestinian people after the 1948 war in Palestine/Israel which followed Israel¿s unusual declaration of statehood on Arab lands. The narrator of this story is a young man in the Israeli army, who some observers have called the ¿good soldier,¿ who tries to grapple with his own troubling participation in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages. To the ¿good soldier¿ and his comrades, the Arab-Palestinians are dirty, smelly, cowardly, less-than-human people who are rounded up and driven like so many cattle across the new Israeli borders at gunpoint with only the clothes on their backs. The story relates how the soldier and his fellow platoon members run the Palestinians, most of whom are women, children, and elderly men and women, out of their villages, burning their homes and destroying all their possessions so they cannot return. Palestinian livestock are killed for mere pleasure or appropriated, like other Palestinian valuables, by the soldiers who view everything, including the land, as theirs for the taking. The story, of course, is very disturbing but told in a lyrical and sometimes poetic manner. The ¿good soldier¿ who begins to listen to his conscience, finally realizes the brutality, immorality, and injustice of the colonialist/Zionist project in Palestine but is unable, on his own, to prevent one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century. Pick up these other titles, which also addresses similar issues: Yasmin Zahran¿s A Beggar at Damascus Gate Liyana Badr¿s Balcony over the Fakihani Mahmoud Darwish¿s book of poetry titled, Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems First Fruits: A Harvest of 25 Years of Israeli Writing 'out of print' Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, edited by Jo Glanville Ghassan Kanafani¿s Palestine's Children: Returning to Haifa and Other Stories Sayed Kashua¿s Dancing Arabs Ghada Karmi¿s In Search of Fatima Savyon Liebrecht¿s Apples from the Desert: Selected Stories etc.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2009

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