BERNSTEIN, ORI


BERNSTEIN, ORI
BERNSTEIN, ORI (1936– ), Israeli poet. Bernstein, who was born in Tel Aviv, studied law at the Hebrew University, serving as an attorney in the army and later in the private sector. For 23 years he acted as managing director of one of Israel's largest corporations. His first poems, Be-Oto ha-Ḥeder, be-Oto ha-Or ("Same Room, Same Light") appeared in 1962, followed by a dozen collections of poems, three books for children, and a volume of essays on poetry entitled Isuk bein Ḥaverim ("Among Friends," 1998). While his early poetry is influenced by N. Alterman and N. Zach, Bernstein later developed his own, very intimate style, contemplating the dialectics of life and death, the yearning for love and friendship and, on the other hand, loneliness and bereavement. Im Mavet ("With Death," 1982) deals with the death of his mother, the sequel Ẓafonah le-Tamid (1987) with the death of his father. A selection of Bernstein's poems was published under the title Shirim 19622002 (2004). Bernstein's only novel, Safek Ḥayyim ("A Dubious Life," 2002), is an autobiographical account in the tradition of Proust: The recollection of experiences from childhood and adolescence, hours of friendship and love, is interwoven with literary echoes. Bernstein is a professor at the Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, where he teaches poetry and the theory of writing. He also translates English, Italian, and French poetry into Hebrew. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Z. Luz, Shirat Ori Bernstein (2000); Y. Oppenheimer, in: Haaretz (Dec. 20, 2002); N. Calderon, in: Maariv (May 25, 2004); Z. Shamir, "Siḥot im Erev," in: Itton 77, 64 (1985), 13; Y. Bachur, "Meshorer Ḥushani, Neziri u-Mufnam," in: Moznayim 60:4 (1986), 55–57; Y. Mazor, "Kifninim Mitpazrot be-Zerem Iti," in: Moznayim 73:8 (1999) 17–20. WEBSITE: www.ithl.org.il\>\> (Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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