Ayalti (Klenbart), Hanan J.

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AYALTI (Klenbart), HANAN J.

AYALTI (Klenbart ), HANAN J. (1910–1992), Yiddish writer and cultural activist. At the age of 19, Ayalti left Bialystok for Palestine. In 1933 he went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. During World War ii he escaped from occupied France, lived in Uruguay 1942–46, and subsequently moved to New York, where he became editorial secretary for the Zionist publication Der Yidisher Kemfer. After a first novel in Hebrew (1934), he turned to writing in Yiddish: short stories, novels, travel sketches, and a collection of proverbs. Some of these works were translated into Hebrew, English, and Spanish. His best-known novel is Tate un Zun ("Father and Son," 1943). His experiences during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 as a war correspondent are reflected in his novel Der Hotel Vos Ekzistirt Nit ("The Non-Existent Hotel," 2 vols., 1944). Ayalti's literary work generally gives a detailed description of the social milieu and is characterized by his skeptical analysis of ideologies, his distrust of his heroes, a tendency to see the darker sides of ideas and personalities, and the exaltation of physical love. Translations of his stories appeared in such significant American journals as Commentary and Midstream; several were gathered into a volume entitled The Presence Is in Exile, Too (1997).


lnyl, 1 (1956), 43–4; J. Glatstein, In Tokh Genumen (1956), 448–52; S. Bickel, Shrayber fun Mayn Dor, 2 (1965), 402–8; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 94.

[Shlomo Bickel /

Alan Astro (2nd ed.)]