This summer of 2014/5774, unity within Israel in the war against terror prevailed, almost tangible. The movement beyond personal boundaries, and the outpouring of caring, shared responsibilities and actions, are hopeful signs of our society's capacity for love and tolerance.
A willingness to accept a diversity of ideas and ways of being, an exploration of the boundaries of human experience and the value of calling "things by name" are the mainstays of Gvuliot (Borderlines), the first issue of Granta Israel. The Israeli publication of the literary magazine Granta, founded by Cambridge University students in 1889, appeared this past May in connection with the International Writers' Festival in Jerusalem.
At the launch held at the Tel Aviv bookstore Sipur Pashut, Mira Rashty, Granta Israel's editor remarked, "Reading this collection invites readers to walk a thin line and contemplate the crossing of borders, their vulnerability and points of no return, as well as the expansive areas awash with opportunities between one border and another."
The all-Hebrew magazine includes emerging and established writers in Israel and abroad including Shimon Adaf, Roberto Bolano, Dror Burstein, Orna Coussin, Eli Eliyahu, Nadine Gordimer, Zahiya Kundus, Etgar Keret, Nicole Krauss and Salman Natour. Two pieces, a personal story by Edgar Keret and a fantasy story by Shimon Adaf, will be translated into English in 2015.
The second issue of Granta Israel, slated for February 2015, is planned around the theme of wanderings. The new issue will be launched as part of the Jerusalem International Book Fair in February, coinciding with an international Granta conference. Granta editors and writers from around the world and Israeli writers and editors will have an opportunity to meet.
I did not know it was possible to lose language
I knew there was a place
Between the movement of blood vessels and the color of skin
Perhaps I waited
For the vast, whirling pain to sit sufficiently on my heart
I reached the fine lines of understanding
Where there is no other way
Than to call things by name
— Alma Katz
(from Granta Israel, translated from the Hebrew by Felice Miryan Kahn Zisken)
Felice Miryam Kahn Zisken is a poet, editor and translator. In 1971 she made aliya from New York to Jerusalem.