It isn’t only Israeli politics and government agenda that hang on the narratives of the Bible—the Hebrew language is profoundly steeped in biblical passages, references, and turns of phrase.
When I was translating Some Day, by Shemi Zarhin, my first published translation which came out with New Vessel Press in 2013, the question of footnotes was constantly on my mind. There was so much to that book, set in Israel, that an English reader wouldn’t know about.
In late February I finished up the translation of a novel. In mid-March my son was born. Caring for a baby is not all too different than dealing with a challenging translation, though granted the hours are less convenient and the boss often poses unreasonable demands. In both cases
I like to follow up my reading of a text with its cinematic counterpart. After finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, I rented the DVD of the same name with great anticipation. But after the credits rolled, I was unsatisfied: while the cinematic version of Woolf’s novel provides a touching
As children, we’re both fascinated with the idea of the great big world around us, and consumed with the notion that we are at its center. I recall sleepless nights, hearing my father return home late from work, and tiptoeing past my sleeping sister’s bed to the living room
When my mother, born in America to Israeli parents, first met my father in Tel Aviv, she said she knew he was right for her because he was an American living in Israel. As a young woman who grew up in transit—constantly being moved around between the two countries—she
My China-born daughter is thirteen the summer day we take a cruise down the Lijiang River from Guilin to Yangshao. This stretch is said to be the inspiration for much Chinese poetry and art: “Guilin’s unique topography. and beautiful scenery of the Karst Mountains and the unsurpassed beauty of the
Recently, I was reading The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov’s antic retelling of the stories of Faust and Pontius Pilot. The novel follows—in part—the devil and his deranged retinue, including a bipedal cat and a naked woman, as they wreak havoc on Moscow. The edition I own, translated by
In the summer of 1926, Rilke, Pasternak, and Tsvetayeva are poised on the brink of disaster, but instead of anticipating it, or of dwelling on what may come, they write. Their letters attest to a febrile, almost frenzied creative period.
While a memoir can often feel myopic or even self-indulgent, Koh’s presents clearly the truth that is tucked between the pages of all memoirs—that all of us are pieced together by a multitude of stories told to us and that we, in turn, tell to others.