Heinrich Heine’s Hebrew Melodies

V. Little angels played oboes...

V. Little angels played oboes..., © Mark Podwal

16.10.2019 - Article

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The German Consulate General Co-Presents:

“A witty American retelling, in word and in image, of Heinrich Heine’s inside-out, topsy-turvy satiric art.”—Cynthia Ozick

“A lovely, lucid translation by masters Mitchell and Prelutsky, not only of the sense but of the spirit of these beloved and beautiful poems. And an equally delightful feast for the eyes: Mark Podwal’s profound, wry, evocative drawings imbue Heine’s verse with fresh, new life.” —Marc Michael Epstein, author of Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts

Artist Mark Podwal will discuss his just published illustrated book Heinrich Heine’s Hebrew Melodies, the third cycle of poems in his late masterwork Romancero, which contain three of the best poems on Jewish themes ever written outside the Hebrew language. Heine appropriated the title Hebrew Melodies from a set of poems about biblical figures and events by Lord Byron, one of his favorite poets. The first two poems of Hebrew Melodies tell of Jewish religious observances and cultural contributions as Heine sympathetically portrays the tragic existence of the Jewish people. The last poem, Disputation, satirically expresses Heine’s misgivings about all religious faiths. This edition presents the original German alongside new English translations by Stephen Mitchell, widely known for his ability to make old classics thrillingly new, and Jack Prelutsky, the author of more than fifty poetry collections for children and adults. Mark Podwal’s illustrations beautifully portray the joyous, playful elements of Jewish tradition and hint at what Professor Elisheva Carlebach, in her foreward, calls the “menacing edges of history’s nightmares.”

Mark Podwal is an internationally acclaimed artist who the French Ministry of Culture has named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters and the Czech Foreign Ministry awarded its prestigious Gratias Agit Prize. Podwal’s original artworks for Hebrew Melodies are on loan to the Berlin Jewish Museum.

Podwal will be joined by poet and translator Jack Prelutsky.

Location and time:
German Consulate General
Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 6.00 PM
Admission is free, but an RSVP is required at: hebrewmelodies

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