Lot 138: The Poet Zelda - Handwritten Notebook - Hitherto Unprinted Poems and Tales
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: A notebook, handwritten by the poet Zelda (Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky). Eretz Israel, [ca. 1940s]. 10 poems and two tales which have not been printed, apparently composed during the 1940s, in the beginning of her literary career. This notebook contains a unique and unknown selection of Zelda's early work which has not yet been printed. Most of the poems are written in the style of her early poems, resembling prose poetry and using lines of various lengths and unvowelized text. Other poems in the notebook are written in a more careful style, more reminiscent of her later poetry. The poems in this notebook reflect Zelda's mystic-symbolic world and are full of literary expressions in her characteristic style. At the end of the notebook, with a separate title page, are two tales. The first tale describes an ideal word which was destroyed and the second an inferno which was rehabilitated. Zelda (Shayna Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky) was born in 1914 in Yekaterinoslav (Dnipropetrovsk), Ukraine, to the Schneerson family - the family of Chabad rebbes. At 11 years of age, she moved to Jerusalem together with her parents and her maternal grandfather, R. David Zvi Chen (a leading Chabad rabbi). A short while after their aliya, her father and grandfather died and she and her mother remained without support. Her long years as an orphan greatly impacted her poetry (see items 88-89). In 1950, she wed Aryeh Mishkovsky (son of R. Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky Rabbi of Krynki). For many years, she earned her livelihood from teaching and avoided the limelight. Although she wrote poetry and stories since a young age, her first collection of poetry, was published in 1967 when she was 53 years old. This book was accepted with open arms as soon as it was published and elevated its creator to an exceptional status in the world of Hebrew poetry. In addition to six poetry books which were published in her lifetime, Zelda also published her poetry in other literary outlets. She died in Jerusalem in 1984. With the passing of years, she became a symbolic figure of Israeli culture and the interest sparked by her and poems is constantly growing. Many books and research were written on Zelda's works. Recent examples are a book of her poems and drawings titled Tzipor Achuzat Kesem (An Enchanted Bird), published in Jerusalem (2014) and a documentary film named "Zelda, a simple woman" (the Ha'Ivrim series, staged by Ya'ir Kedar, 2015).  handwritten pages + a note cut from the notebook (part of the notebook is blank). 20.5 cm. The notebook is in good condition. The first page (without any text) is dark and cut at the bottom. Several leaves have been torn out. Cover in fair condition. Front cover detached. Tears to spine and minor damages to margins.