Hayim Nahman Bialik
by Avner Holtzman
The story of Hayim Nahman Bialik (1873-1934) can be told as heroic legend of a poor orphan who paved his way, against all odds, to greatness solely by his own merits: to become not only the greatest Hebrew poet but the crowned leader of his national culture. On the other hand, the same life can be illuminated as a hidden tragedy, revealing his struggle with his demons from his youth. Holtzman considers both while interweaving Bialik’s life story within the larger context of the Zionist revolution.
"A careful chronology of [Bialik's] turbulent life...A clear and concise biography." -ArtsFuse
"Well-researched... " -Washington Jewish Week
“This is a remarkable story, superbly told, of an orphan, who gave generations of children something to sing about; an unrequited lover, who reclaimed Hebrew as the language of love; and of a tortured, modern poet, who returned prophecy to Israel.” -David G. Roskies, The Jewish Theological Seminary
“Avner Holtzman guides us with authority and elegance through the major points in the life of the foremost modern Hebrew poet, and provides answers to the puzzles surrounding his poetry, personality, and the immense influence he exerted on his contemporaries and future generations.” -Shachar Pinsker, author of Literary Passports: The Making of Modernism: Hebrew Fiction in Europe
“The work of a remarkable Israeli scholar whose exquisite aesthetic sensibility combines with a positivist sense of historical accuracy and detail.” -William Cutter, Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion