Jerusalem Report

The nationalistic poet

Dan Laor's new book shows how Natan Alterman left his mark on culture and politics through an unparalleled literary body of work.

Prof. Dan Laor, author of ’Alterman: A Biography,‘ at his home in Jerusalem
Photo by: Courtesy
The day before The Jerusalem Report interviewed Prof. Dan Laor, a literary evening dedicated to his new book, in Hebrew, on the life of poet Natan Alterman, was held at Tmol Shilshom, a Jerusalem bookshop-café. Laor, 69, professor of Hebrew literature at Tel Aviv University and formerly both head of the department and dean of the Humanities Faculty there, is well used to such events. As the author of five other books on Hebrew literature, including an acclaimed biography of the 1966 Israeli Nobel Prize laureate, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, he has been the main attraction at many of them.

Nevertheless, he was unmistakably thrilled by the way the evening had gone. Serving pastries made by his son, a professional patissier, at his childhood home in the veteran Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia where he lives with his wife, Dr. Lihi Yariv-Laor, head of the Asian Studies Department at Hebrew University, Laor chats animatedly about what happened.



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