Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
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A remarkable phenomenon in Hebrew culture of the 1950s was the emergence of a considerable quantity of translations and pseudo-translations of pulp literature. The phenomenon stemmed from the need of the literary system to renew and stratify itself, supplying the general reading public with popular literature in Hebrew that was neither didactic nor engaged. This "healthy" drive was encountered by conservative efforts of the mainstream, which insisted on maintaining high literary norms. Culture-shapers even sought ways of imposing the "right" kind of popular literature on the working classes, rather than allowing it to develop naturally. But the periphery provided pulp fiction – detective stories, romance, thrillers, and erotica—far more popular than any canonical literature. The number of cheap books, booklets, and serials grew rapidly, reaching a peak in the mid 60s. So did the number of printing presses or small publishing firms that emerged almost daily, as well as the number of writers/translators, at least seemingly so, for the vast number of pseudonyms hid a rather limited group or core of participants. This article explores the function of this massive production: on the one hand, the role of the individual non-canonic translators, mostly hiding under pen-names; on the other, the role of this massive corpus of what was then considered "junk". The possible advantages of anonymity will be discussed, as well as the relationship between this production in the periphery and production in the center.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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