March 21, 2017
עטיפת כתב העת

On the Jewish-Polish-Polish-Jewish side of Hanoch Levin, Fake-News and Trumpism, the new issue of the journal Orot is dedicated to Hanoch Levin

The journal Orot celebrates 10 years of creative activity with a full edition of original works that correspond with the world of Hanoch Levin. As usual, “Orot” offers a celebration of works and creators: short stories, comics and illustrations, articles, poetry and spoken-word, as well as a musical mini-album that is published side by side with the magazine.

The list of creators includes familiar names like Ronny Somek, Yirmi Pinkus and Danny Kerman, as well as many new artists publishing for the first time. By the way, about half of the writers in the issue are female.

What new angles can we offer in the world of Hanoch Levin?

Well, it turns out that quite a lot. “Orot” first targets the Jewish-Polish-Polish aspect of Levin’s work. For example, the story that opens the issue is  a science fiction story that takes place in a Jewish town in Poland and includes typical Levin figures and situations. One can imagine how “Requiem To Slopze” by the young writer Uriel Ziegler becomes a series on Netflix.

Later on in the issue we can find an article by Prof. Shoshana Ronen of the University of Warsaw, which presents a new and Polish background to Levin’s work, as well as Levin’s translations into Yiddish.

The second focus of the “Orot” issue is Levin’s satirical period. Max Schattner compares the days of Levin’s cabarets with the writers of the cabarets of the German Weimar Republic. Of course, one must not compare. And yet the comparison is fascinating. Natalie Derin presents for the first time funny and piercing skits with characters like Waiting-For-His-Turn and Waiting-For-Her-Turn, Sighing-Good-For-Her and more. Erin Yakubov, another young artist, writes a skit about Zionism as it appears to the eyes of a new immigrant who works for a pest control company.

In the Age of Fake-News and Trumpism, Ilona Trojanov writes a text that is a fake-news about Levin himself. Chen Yarkoni goes one step further, puts people aside and allows chat-bots to talk to each other, perhaps similar to what David Avidan had done at the time.

On the visual side, the volume is full of comics, illustrations and photographs that correspond with Levin’s work by Ilana Zafran, Felix Lupa, Rachel Stolero-Haim, Guy Harlap and others.

On the musical side, the issue includes a premiere of a mini-album of Levin’s songs, by the musician and drummer Dror Goldstein (on the Orot website). Levin’s poems never sounded so much like Tel Aviv, as if they had been written in the center of the tram construction area.

In these and other works, the new issue of Orot presents new, exciting, contemporary and thought-provoking perspectives, and, nonetheless important, an enjoyable reading celebration.