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Lot 139: Yehuda Amichai - Handwritten Notebook - Poems, Notes and Various Writings - Europe, 1970

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: A notebook handwritten by Yehuda Amichai. London, Cambridge, Amsterdam and other locations, summer, 1970. A notebook documenting Yehuda Amichai's journey to Europe in the summer of 1970. The notebook contains drafts of poems, journey-impressions, ideas for plays, original arrangement of a theater stage, dreams, practical notes, and more. The nature of the notebook is diverse, and it seems that Amichai carried it with him to various sites and used it concurrently as a dated diary, address book and sketch book. Most of the leaves feature literary passages in various stages of editing and development (some are only several lines while others are complete and edited drafts), and they all reflect the poet's mood when he travelled, as well as some subjects which are repeated in his poetry: "Not to lose at once. Like a pen, glasses, a man dies suddenly. Suddenly you don't see the person anymore…" (Hebrew), from a draft dated 25.7. More than once, Amichai mentions in this notebook sites and places which he visited: House of Anna Frank, Red Lights District and the Military Cemetery (most probably a German one), all depicted in his poetic style. Many of the drafts are accompanied by comments, additions and deletions (most of them crossed off with a thin line enabling to read the deleted line) and reveal something about the process of his work. Among the descriptions of dreams, which bear the imprint of the journey, is a detailed description of a dream about a dead friend named Binyamin: "I was in a strange synagogue near a path... I asked about Binyamin. Went out. Was suntanned and with white hair… on the mountain a Hassidic exhibition with tiny dolls…" (Hebrew). A few words (mainly names and places) are written in English and German. Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000), one of the leading modern poets in the Hebrew language, was born to an orthodox family in W?rzburg, Germany, and immigrated with his family to Eretz Israel at the age of 11. During World War II he volunteered to the British Army, and when the War of Independence broke out he was drafted to the "Negev Brigade". After the war he studied literature and biblical studies at the Hebrew University. His first poetry book "Achshav UbeYamin Ha'acherim" (Now and in Other Days) was published in 1955, and ever since Amichai never stopped publishing until his death in the year 2000. His literary oeuvre encompasses 13 poetry books, two novels, a book of short stories, and numerous plays and radio-plays, and even children's books. Amichai won the Israel Prize for Literature (1982). [34] handwritten pages. Good condition. 20.5 cm. Some creases and folds. Creases and damages to cover (mainly to spine). Provenance: Bonhams: The Roy Davids Collection. Poetry: Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets. Part III, Lot 8 (April 10th 2013).

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