What are we missing ?(2) Days of ziklag

The second in an occasional series of post about books and writers yet to hit us in English .This is the epic novel by S Yizhar published in 1958 ,I first came across this after  reading his novella Khirbet Khizeh that Granta published I reviewed it here .Days of ziklag it also set in the Israeli war of independence and covers six days of that war ,follows a squad of the defence force and is told in a stream of consciousness style of story telling ,and is based oon a real area of conflict in that war .Now the main reason for it not being translated is probably its size that is 1100 pages in its original Hebrew,this means it would be a bit longer in English as it uses more vowels than Hebrew in its written language .Another is the time to translate It took Peter Nadas Translator Imra Goldstein 5 years to translate Parallel stories a book of similar length and like Hebrew from a language not connect to English in its origins .It is considered the greatest book on this conflict and the best in modern Israeli fiction classic so why hasn’t a publisher taken the dive and translated it ? for more info on S Yizhar here is a link to his wiki page .If anyone knows if rights have been sold and a translation is forth coming I be very interested to know .

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Henry Jeffreys
    Oct 18, 2011 @ 14:19:11

    There is something in the pipeline. I can say no more.


  2. Tom Cunliffe
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 07:14:36

    You certainly find some obscure books! This one looks very interesting and no doubt provided some unique insights – but will we ever know other than through reviews. The length is definitely a disincentive for translators. An unusual series of blog posts!


  3. Nicholas de Lange
    Mar 24, 2013 @ 13:11:39

    Don’t hold your breath, but I’m seriously interested in translating this. It’s the ultimate challenge for a translator from Hebrew! NdeL


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  5. tonymess12
    Apr 14, 2017 @ 04:00:26

    It is still missing Stu & Amos Oz references the book in his 2016 novel “Judas”
    “Shmuel sat facing Gresham Wald on the visitor’s chair, reading Yizhar’s Days of Ziklag, with which he had been wrestling intermittently all that winter…”
    A pity it is not available as it appears a “classic”


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 14, 2017 @ 20:01:13

      Meant be translated by the two translators that did his other book a few years ago but not sure if they still doing it was few years ago I was told that Nicholas de Lange has said he’d love to translate it


  6. Nicholas de Lange (@NicholasdeLange)
    Apr 14, 2017 @ 19:59:42

    I have started translating it together with Yaacob Dweck, with whom I translated Khirbet Khizeh. But it’s slow work and will take some years. If it turns out to be translatable at all. Fingers crossed!


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October 2011


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