From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.
Monday, December 15, 2003
The Hobbit is an amazing story of fantasy; its translation into Hebrew is an amazing story of fact. As Tolkien had a keen interest in Hebrew and other Semitic languages, I suspect he would have had a keen affinity for this unique translation, and not just because his novels had served as a lifeline for a group of Israeli P.O.W.s in a rather desperate situation. I first learned of this notable and highly original translation of Tolkien’s magisterial prequel a while back, but I didn’t know much about the specific circumstances surrounding its genesis or its translators, other than that it had been a group effort by Israeli P.O.W.s during the War of Attrition. The following article, which I came across at a friend’s house and from which the above quotation is taken, is in the latest Hadassah Magazine. It offers some nice information about some of the people who crafted The Hebrew Hobbit. Check it out, elfim. (If the link doesn’t take you straight to the article, click on “current issue” and then “The Hebrew Hobbit.”)