Israeli Literature: Amos Oz

"Israeli Literature: Amos Oz" (in Hebrew)
"Israeli Literature: Amos Oz" (in Hebrew)

Israeli Literature: Amos Oz” is the title of my latest book.

The book creates a bridge to facilitate the access to the modern Israeli literature, their writers and poets. Hebrew is not an easy language: the absence of vowels in the standard printed books is a barrier to anyone wishing to read modern Israeli literature. In addition, literary works employ a richer vocabulary of words not usually heard in daily conversations. The standard method to get Hebrew learners acquainted with a novel published by an Israeli author is to produce a watered-down version of it in easy-Hebrew, a reduced vocabulary with vowels added. This is cumbersome: another writer must take the original novel, rewrite it and produce a new novel that should still have the taste of the original. Close interaction with the author of the original novel is strongly needed or desired. Copyright issues appear. Coordination with original publishers is required. Timely access of recently published works to Hebrew learners is practically impossible.

Another way, of course, is to get the novel in English or another foreign language you understand. But a translation to a foreign language – in addition to the deficiencies already pointed out for the model using a watered-down edition in easy-Hebrew – loses a lot of the original Hebrew “taste”, it sounds … foreign. And does not increase the comprehension of the Hebrew language, that is, it does not help a student one iota towards the next step: reading the next Israeli novel in its original Hebrew.

This book tries a new way: Supplement an original novel with a good dictionary fitted to the novel, both in Hebrew. The process of creating a dictionary fitted to a novel is efficient, takes a short time, and does not need coordination with the original author nor publisher.

The novel I selected was written by the Israeli writer Amos Oz:

עמוס עוז, “מיכאל שלי“, הוצאת ‘כתר’, 2008

Hopefully, the dictionary I wrote will satisfy the needs of the advanced student wishing to read the novel in Hebrew.

I hope that others will join me in this effort and publish “dictionaries” for other Israeli literary works. In this way a timely library of contemporary Israeli literature could be created in a short time that could be very useful both for students and teachers all over the world.

My book can be downloaded for free at:

Or, if you prefer a bound hard copy, you can find it at Amazon:

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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