Thursday, November 17, 2011

Married Life - David Vogel

A review I wrote a few years ago on David's Vogels Hebrew language novel Married Life:

David Vogel was a Hebrew poet and novelist who died at the hands of the Nazis in 1944. Married Life, his only long work in English translation, chronicles the world which Vogel inhabited, seedy Vienna between the World Wars, a place where marginalization was the norm.

Married Life stands on its own legs, but it is all the more amazing when the reader realizes that this novel was written in Hebrew in Europe, by a man who did not speak Hebrew as his daily language or live in Palestine, which had a population of native Hebrew speakers, in some numbers since the end of the 19th century. 

Vogel inserted his Hebrew into situations where it did not belong, plunging it into the kind of normality it would not receive until the full-flowering of Hebrew in British Mandate Palestine and later the State of Israel. So for this reason, but by no means the only or most important, Vogel's work is significant. He was one of the last secular writers of Hebrew to write outside the land of Israel. 

His poems, novels and novellas stand as interesting testaments to a language and people in transition to their own state and culture and language.

No comments:

Post a Comment