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Sverdlik, Oded

SVERDLIK, ODED

SVERDLIK, ODED (Enrique ; 1938–1996), Argentinean-Israeli poet, author, literary critic, and journalist. His grandparents immigrated at the turn of the century to the Argentinean Jewish colonies established by Baron Hirsch. Born in Buenos Aires, Sverdlik was very active in leftist Zionism, one of the founders of the Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir "Mordehai Anilevich" youth group and editor of the newspaper Nueva Sión. His first book of poems, Las hambres consumadas ("The Accomplished Hungers," 1961) won him an award from the Argentine Writers Association. He published in Argentina Las tremendas decisiones ("The Tremendous Decisions," short stories, 1964) and Memorias del transeúnte ("Memories of the Passerby," poems, 1970), before he established himself in Israel in 1965. He lived in a kibbutz for five years. From 1970 to 1988 he was editor of information and study materials in Spanish at the World Zionist Organization Youth Department. His first book in Hebrew was Ereẓ Lo Noda'at ("Unknown Territory," short stories, 1972), followed by Parashei ha-Ishon ("The Riders of the Pupil of the Eye," poems, 1980) and Ḥalonot ba-Saḥaf ("Windows in Erosion," poems, 1986). From 1987 to 1991 Sverdlik was a member of the Hebrew Writers Association's Executive Board. In 1988 he was awarded the Levi Eshkol Prize for literary creation. In 1990 he published a Spanish anthology of self-translated poems, Brindis ("Toast"), and in 1992 a new book of poems in Hebrew, Ad Kelot ha-Devash (To the End of the Honey). At his death, he was working on another book of poems, Ma'agal Kama'i ("Primordial Circle"). In his last years, he became a member of the Mexican Academy of Literature and was general secretary of the Israeli pen Club. Sverdlik also devoted himself to poetry translation from Hebrew to Spanish and vice versa, and was literary advisor and reviewer for newspapers, journals, and publishing houses in Spanish and Hebrew. His poems have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, Serbian, Russian, and Lithuanian.

bibliography:

A.N. Rosero (ed.), Poesía hebrea contemporánea 1950–1983 (1986); E. Toker (ed.), Panorama de la poesía judía contemporánea (1989); F. Goldberg and I. Rozen (eds.), Los latinoamericanos en Israel (1988); M. Braver and J. Braver (eds.), Cien años de narrativa judeo-argentina (1990); I. Beser (ed.), Mivḥar Shirim she-Ra'u Or bi-Meruẓat 20 Shanah be-Iton 77 (1996).

[Florinda F. Goldberg (2nd ed.)]

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