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The Making of the Sea, a Chronicle of Exegesis

Michal Govrin
Liliane Klapisch: Etching

Har’el Publishers, Jaffa, 1998
Carmel Publishers, Jerusalem, 2000.

"The Making of the Sea" is a journal, a chronicle. During the journey, which starts on the seashore at Rio-De-Janeiro and arrives at Jerusalem, the gaze meets the sights of the road and the sights of the soul, among them are memories, thoughts and experiences of death and love.

The "journal" is written in a column at the center of the page and around it, as the paging of a Talmud sheet, interpretations of the central column are arranged. The interpretations are written in different modes of expression that extend from fragments of poetry or thought to quotes from dictionaries or from Jewish and European sources. Along the journey and its interpretations the language itself, with its unique landscapes and its erotic tension, becomes the destination to which the road has been leading.

The structure of the page in The Making of the Sea, a Chronicle of Exegesis traces the movement of the thought from the center to the margins, and the process of reading in which the language moves from sound to image and from outdoor to intra-lingual landscapes. "The Making of the Sea" converses with the multi-voiced page of the Gomorra or the multi-commentary Bible (that was originally printed in Venice in the Renaissance) and with traditions of art in the twentieth century (Surrealism, Constructivism or Deconstruction) and their current embodiment in the reading between associative "windows" on the computer screen.


A Talmud lay out with original etchings by Liliane Klapisch and the author's drawings.
Exhibitions of The Making of the Sea were held at "har’el Gallery", Jaffa (1998), "Office in Tel-Aviv" (1998), "Mishkenot Sha’ananaim", Jerusalem (2002), and it was the subject of voice-and light performances and stage adaptations
.

The Making of the Sea, a Chronicle of Exegesis was written in the years 1986-7 as a Hebrew manifest in its form and content.
It is a book about "what is a book?" – the linear, evolving, "Western" book, versus the spreading and outburst of the "Jewish" page.
It is a Book about the relationship between language and world – about the view of the eye versus the view of the language. And about the Hebrew language and its unique appearance of an "archeological mound".
It is a book about the creating power of speech – the speech that describes the landscape utters it, and therefore creates it, in speech. The lyrical, magical speech, the pronouncing of prayer.
It is a book about the Eros at the roots of the language – the mutual passion to appeal, to reach, to penetrate, to receive, and in a constant inversion of sexes.
It is a book about the reading, which is always a single, personal and creative combination.
An act of creation that invites the reader to take part.

A series of original copper etchings by Lilian Klapisc is interwoven in The Making of the Sea, a Chronicle of Exegesis. The etchings are all devoted to sights of inner space – the space of the Jerusalem apartment from which the authoress’ journey of writing departs and to which it returns. These are somewhat "metonymical portraits" of the writing process: footprints she has left between the piles of books or the writing desks, details of a life or branches appearing from behind a window.

Sketched in a rapid line, almost without any spots, the etchings stress the tension between the line and the white space of the paper. The nature of the etchings converses with the journey of the eye between the different voices that the text coveys, and with the nature of "The Making of the Sea" – rapid lists and rapid reflections taken in the course of a journey.

The Etchings were created in a joint technique of Aquatint [תצריב], soft wax and dry needle, and were printed in "Sadnat Harel".

From the Book

Pages from the book

Translations

Russian Translation

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