Chana Bloch & Chana Kronfeld, trans. -->

In the short history of Israeli letters, two women have loomed large: Yona Wallach and Dahlia Ravikovitch. Wallach said of Ravikovitch, “[She] doesn’t deal enough with sex. She’s not revolutionary enough. She doesn’t pay attention to how differently she writes from me. She isn’t a feminist.” What Wallach counts as vices let us call virtues. Ravikovitch had the final say with a tongue-in-cheek elegy for her rival Wallach: “Yona, shalom,/ this time I’m the one who’s talking/ and you won’t interrupt anymore./ Now, God help us, you’re in the ranks of the holy and pure./ … . you are one dead girl.”

This acid irony, coexisting with an...


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