Agmon (Bistritski), Nathan

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AGMON (Bistritski), NATHAN

AGMON (Bistritski ), NATHAN (1896–1980), Israeli dramatist and publicist. He began his literary career while still in Russia, publishing articles of literary criticism in Hebrew journals. In 1920 he arrived in Palestine, and from 1922 until his retirement in 1952 worked in the central office of the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem, directing its Youth and Information Departments. His early writings in Palestine described life in collective agricultural settlements. Among the first original Hebrew dramatists to be presented on the Palestinian stage, his first play Yehudah Ish-Keriyyot ("Judas Iscariot") was published in 1930. In 1931 he wrote Shabbetai Ẓevi, which was produced by the Ohel Theater in 1936. Messianism, which he considers a symbol of humanity's struggle to achieve a just society, is the central motif in his dramas, especially the two above-mentioned plays. He also published articles and books on South American Jewry and on Zionism. His collected plays appeared in 1960 in three volumes. In 1964 Agmon published a philosophical work, Ḥazon Adam ("Human Vision"); his autobiography, Be-Sod ha-Mitos ("Knowing the Secret of the Myth"), appeared in 1980.

bibliography:

G. Yardeni, Siḥot im Soferim (1961), 83–92. add. bibliography: G. Shaked, Ha-Sipporet ha-Ivrit, 3 (1988), 70–76; T. Hess, Shi'ur Komah shel Marvad Nashiyut ba-Koveẓ Kehilateynu u-va-Roman Yamim ve-Leylot me-et Natan Bistritski (1995).

[Getzel Kressel]