Tel Aviv Diary April 9-13, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary --April 9-13, 2018 Karen Alkalay-Gut

April 9, 2018

We were so enthusiastic about the exhibit at the Israel Museum ofZoya Cherkassky that we went immediately to the bookstore to get the catalogue. Her Russian training, together with her Tel Aviv freedom and her wonderfully cynical and imaginative eye, make for wickedly beautiful paintings, and the subject of this exhibit, "Pravda" or "truth," about the experience of the Russian immigrant in Israel, is provocative and enlighening. There are bright paintings of a Russian family trying to act religious as the rabbi finds a pig's nose in their fridge, of a comical adult circumcision, of the cultural conflicts between European and African cultures, etc. etc. There were also caricatures of life in Russia, but the brunt of the coarse criticism was on the way Israelis at the time viewed the Russian immigrants.

So we took our copies of the catalogue to the Russian cashier and as we took out our wallets asked her what she thought of the exhibit. "It was not to my taste," she replied. We could see that she was insulted by our purchases of the catalogues, and only at that moment did I realize that the exhibit itself had been tucked away in a corner of the museum and had not been really advertised in the museum itself. Yes, there is something grotesque and shameful about it. not about the vulvas of Russian prostitutes, but our behavior to one another.

April 10, 2018

the day before the eve of Holocaust Day, the Israel Association of Writers in English are holding a celebratory reading. in the Little Prince Cafe extension on Rashi Street at the corning of King George. It starts at 7:30. I'll be there and will read if there's time. At my age it seems more logical to give the others a turn. i get enough chances.

April 12, 2018

It was a lovely reading with 40 people - but my eyes were to the skies. Always expecting an attack, almost anticipating total destruction, I'm always ready to run home and hide under the bed. But nothing happened except good poetry.

Today I was running around doing interviews about holocaust day and my latest book

on Radio oranim

and reshet bet - can tarbut

It seemed like nothing at the time, just a necessary encouragement to remember the previous generation and to see the importance of poetry. But I came home with no energy and decided to spend the afternoon talking to my friend on the Lebanese border. In the course of the conversation she tells me there is an awful lot of noise from planes flying overhead. we're supposed to go out tonight but suddenly i'm frozen.

April 13, 2018

We were not the only ones out last night. In fact the streets were crowded - it was a thursday night after all, and thursday is the night for going out around here. Even though we were early, around 11 p.m. there was no room at the bars and restaurants around Allenby. And today at the opening of the exhibit of the work of Arieh Sharon, it was even more of a jam. Arieh Sharon, or a Ezi constantly calls him, Lushik, was not only a friend of Ezi's family, but he also built most of the Bauhaus edifices in this country. When I looked at the exhibit, the plans for kibbutz sociology, the drawing for uniting Jerusalem economically, I remembered the dream of a better society that was to be in part determined by and inclusive idealistic socialism. No wonder the museum was full of people my age. people who remembered.

on a personal note, we cut down on sugar over two months ago and the only thing that I've lost is the pleasure. I think I don't believe in extreme anything any more.

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