Showing posts tagged nathan englander

Translated this one (“The Story, Victorious”) for Etgar Keret’s fantastic Suddenly, A Knock on the Door.  

(Source: youtube.com)

newyorker:

A Haggadah for the Internet Age

In their new Haggadah, Foer (who edited the text and accompanying commentary) and Englander (who translated the traditional Hebrew and Aramaic text) take delight in the book’s complexities, and they use its contradictions to celebrate the act of reading itself. This is a Haggadah one must literally grapple with: it is large enough that sitting at a crowded table, you’d have to hold it against your body and spread your arms out to keep it open. The text runs in multiple directions: there is the traditional Hebrew text and a parallel English translation printed vertically. At the top of most pages, printed horizontally, there is a time line enumerating signal events in Jewish history—to read it, you have to turn the book clockwise by ninety degrees. The commentary to the main text is contained on horizontally printed pages that require turning the book another ninety degrees, this time counterclockwise, and you encounter blocks of closely printed text floating on the page, inviting a mood-dependent dive-in.
All this crisscrossing text and rotating of the book make us aware of its material qualities—its generous proportions and visual amplitude—while also linking to the kind of reading we do on the Internet, skipping around, following our instincts, finding unexpected connections. It’s a version of the Haggadah particularly suited to our age of distraction, and yet, it also demands serious attention. The turning of the book brings to mind a famous phrase about the Torah by the Talmudic rabbi Ben Bag-Bag: “Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it.”

- Sasha Weiss on Jonathan Safran Foer’s and Nathan Englander’s “The New American Haggadah”: http://nyr.kr/HDcOiN

newyorker:

A Haggadah for the Internet Age

In their new Haggadah, Foer (who edited the text and accompanying commentary) and Englander (who translated the traditional Hebrew and Aramaic text) take delight in the book’s complexities, and they use its contradictions to celebrate the act of reading itself. This is a Haggadah one must literally grapple with: it is large enough that sitting at a crowded table, you’d have to hold it against your body and spread your arms out to keep it open. The text runs in multiple directions: there is the traditional Hebrew text and a parallel English translation printed vertically. At the top of most pages, printed horizontally, there is a time line enumerating signal events in Jewish history—to read it, you have to turn the book clockwise by ninety degrees. The commentary to the main text is contained on horizontally printed pages that require turning the book another ninety degrees, this time counterclockwise, and you encounter blocks of closely printed text floating on the page, inviting a mood-dependent dive-in.

All this crisscrossing text and rotating of the book make us aware of its material qualities—its generous proportions and visual amplitude—while also linking to the kind of reading we do on the Internet, skipping around, following our instincts, finding unexpected connections. It’s a version of the Haggadah particularly suited to our age of distraction, and yet, it also demands serious attention. The turning of the book brings to mind a famous phrase about the Torah by the Talmudic rabbi Ben Bag-Bag: “Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it.”

- Sasha Weiss on Jonathan Safran Foer’s and Nathan Englander’s “The New American Haggadah”: http://nyr.kr/HDcOiN
(Reblogged from newyorker)

Translating God and Others: An Interview with Nathan Englander

For the New Yorker podcast series, you chose to read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s story “Disguise,” about a cross-dressing yeshiva boy in old Europe, and it reminded me of some of your own stories in this way that you’re comfortable enough to say, “This is a world. It has enough inside of it.”

My aesthetic is very simple: If a piece of art isn’t universal, it’s not functioning. It’s very strange that people want to ask Jews, “I’m not Jewish. My friends aren’t Jewish. Can I read this story?” It’s like Crime and Punishment. You don’t give that to someone and say, “Oh, you’re not Russian, you’ve never killed an old woman, so I don’t think this book’s for you.” Nobody’s worried about whether you can watch Star Warswithout having been a Jedi. It’s a really strange notion that gets put very specifically on literature with lots of Jews in it, or with lots of black people, or with lots of gay people. That’s how I feel about [John] Cheever. Nobody in my family ever mixed a martini. That world is as foreign to me as a dybbuk is to someone else. And you know what, there’s no distance, I get everything. Nothing is lost on me. So yes, why would a Jewish world be less of a world, or too “other,” unless the writer has failed?

- from an interview in Heeb, April 4, 2012. 

Played 20 times

Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander discuss The New American Haggadah, their take on a traditional Passover prayer book. The Haggadah recounts, through prayer, song, and ritual, the extraordinary story of Exodus, when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to wander the desert for forty years before reaching the Promised Land. Safran Foer edited Englander’s translation, and major Jewish writers and thinkers like Jeffrey Goldberg, Lemony Snicket, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Nathaniel Deutsch also provide commentary. It is designed and illustrated by the Israeli artist and calligrapher Oded Ezer.

on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, April 3, 2012.

“New Haggadahs will be written until there are no more Jews to write them. Or until our destiny has been fulfilled, and there is no more need to say, ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’” according to the preface to the New American Haggadah. Watch our interviews at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC with writers Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander about the new Haggadah edited by Foer, translated by Englander, designed by Oden Ezer, and published by Little, Brown. Interviews by Julie Mashack. Edited by Fred Yi.

- PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Played 10 times
April 1, 2012

The Haggadah tells one of the oldest stories of all time: Moses leading the ancient Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.

That tale is retold every year in Jewish homes around the world during Passover, and in particular, over the Passover meal, the Seder.

Novelists Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander have just released a new version of the ancient text, called New American Haggadah. Foer edited the volume, and Englander provided translations from the original Hebrew and Aramaic.

Both men have fond memories of childhood Seders with their families. “It was a real, kind of makeshift, cobbled-together and really happy affair,” Foer tells NPR’s Rachel Martin.

"We used to drink wine," Englander adds. "I used to slide under the table. That’s a very famous family quote. I was like 4, and I stood up and I said, ‘I be as a drunkard!’ And they still say that to me a lot."

- NPR

Join pre-eminent Jewish storytellers Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander to explore how they orchestrated a new way of experiencing and understanding one of our oldest, most sacred stories in their unique and absorbing New American Haggadah.

In this event celebrating their beautifully illustrated new release, which also features provocative commentary from some of the brightest Jewish literary and intellectual voices, they will be joined by Rabbi Jennifer Krause to delve into the extraordinary story of Exodus, discuss what elements of the story are especially relevant to bring to the Seder table this year, and examine how their role as Jewish storytellers shaped the New American Hagaddah. Discover how this enduring narrative and our constant re-imagination of the liberation experience can offer inspiration to writers, leaders of Passover seders and people fighting for freedom everywhere.

Just back from an event at the fabulous Sixth & I in D.C. Next up is a hometown Haggadah event with JSFoer on Thursday at the 92nd Street Y.

Two Novelists Take on the Haggadah

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Nathan Englander, left, translated the liturgical text for the “New American Haggadah,” which Jonathan Safran Foer edited. Four writers contributed commentary.

AFTER a lengthy interview with President Obama in the Oval Office two weeks ago, Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for the Atlantic, had one more question, and it had nothing to do with Iran.

“I know this is cheesy …” Mr. Goldberg started, but before he could finish, the president interrupted him. “What, you have a book?” Mr. Obama asked. Turns out, Mr. Goldberg did, but “it’s not just any book,” he replied.

Mr. Goldberg reached into his briefcase and handed the president an advance copy of the “New American Haggadah,” a new translation of the Passover liturgy that was edited by Jonathan Safran Foer and contains commentary by Mr. Goldberg and other contemporary writers.

After thumbing through the sleek hardcover book, Mr. Obama looked up and asked wryly, “Does this mean that we can’t use the Maxwell House Haggadah anymore?”

Mr. Goldberg was impressed. “Way to deploy the inside-Jewish joke,” he later said.

Now that our Haggadah made it to Obama, I’m feeling my Presidential Pardon can’t be far behind. Fingers crossed for clemency. 

(Source: The New York Times)

Jonathan Safran Foer on Colbert talking about the New American Haggadah. He edited, I translated, many nice people contributed (Jeffrey Goldberg, Lemony Snicket, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Nathaniel Deutch), Oded Ezer designed and illuminated. 


 
“I keep thinking of that shot of Shea Stadium with The Beatles,” Englander says. “Girls pulling out their hair. That’s the ultimate concert shot: Beatles at Shea. And I said if it was one woman at a reading pulling her hair out and screaming, you’d call 911. You’d call for support or something — ‘We have a problem here!’ Why is that less?
“Why is the reader’s commitment a smaller thing?” he asks. “One true reader — would that not be enough in life? Is that not enough of a gift to build something that one person truly appreciates? It’s kind of maybe greedy to even hope for more.”


 
“Nathan Englander’s search for ‘one true reader’,” Mark Medley for National Post.

“I keep thinking of that shot of Shea Stadium with The Beatles,” Englander says. “Girls pulling out their hair. That’s the ultimate concert shot: Beatles at Shea. And I said if it was one woman at a reading pulling her hair out and screaming, you’d call 911. You’d call for support or something — ‘We have a problem here!’ Why is that less?

“Why is the reader’s commitment a smaller thing?” he asks. “One true reader — would that not be enough in life? Is that not enough of a gift to build something that one person truly appreciates? It’s kind of maybe greedy to even hope for more.”

Nathan Englander’s search for ‘one true reader’,” Mark Medley for National Post.