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Lot 141: The Canaanites Movement and the Periodical "Alef" - Collection of Items

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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  • The Canaanites Movement and the Periodical
  • The Canaanites Movement and the Periodical
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Description: About 350 paper items related to the Canaanites movement and issues the periodical "Alef". Letters, drafts of essays, literary items, official issues, posters and broadsides. Eretz Israel, late 1930s till the early 1950s. Hebrew and some English. The Canaanites (formerly "Council for the Coalition of Hebrew Youth"), was a cultural and ideological movement that influenced political thought, art, literature and intellectual life in Eretz Israel and in the young State of Israel. Its members attempted to draw a direct link between the people who lived in Eretz Israel in the second millennium BCE, and the Jewish people in Eretz Israel in the twentieth century, and through this create an old-new culture and to disaffiliate themselves from Jewish tradition. The title Canaanites was given to the group, ironically, by the poet Avraham Shlonsky. The periodical "Alef" issued by "HaIvrim HaTze'irim" (Canaanites) was published and edited by Aharon Amir and Yonatan Ratosh in cooperation with the movement members and close associates: Adaya Horon (A.G. Horon), Amos Keinan. Binyamin Tamuz and others. Among the items: · "K'tav el HaNo'ar HaIvri", manifest of the Canaanites movement from 1943 composed by Yonatan Ratosh who authored the early theoretical-ideological doctrine of the movement. · 25 printed items issued by the Canaanites and the editorial of "Alef", including drafts and early versions of the movement platform, center's regulations for inner distribution, promotion leaflet enclosed with a souvenir-issue of "Alef" (with a stub to order a subscription), and some other items. · 22 "declaration" forms - an official form on which those who intended to join the movement had to sign, declaring that they adopt the "Canaanite" ideology. 14 forms filled out by hand and 8 blank forms. · "HaTechiya HaIvrit", draft of an essay or composition written by hand, with the early ideological ideas of the movement, basic definitions and the ideological change that it meant to initiate (1940s). · 24 issues of "Alef", the central periodical of the Canaanites, edited by Yonatan Ratosh and Aharon Amir. Includes issues 1-19 (printed between 1951-1953), four unnumbered copies from the years 1971-1972, and an additional issue, earlier than the others, which was apparently printed in 1949 (including the first publication by Amos Keinan, the story "HaNoter Hamemushkaf im HaKarabina"). · "Permit to publish a paper", original permit issued by the State of Israel to distribute "Alef", dated 27.3.1950. · 37 various handwritten paper items concerning the editorial of the paper and the Movement. Summaries of meetings, personal details of the movement's members, ideological arguments, early versions of the movement's platform and additional documentation on notes and various documents. · 80 letters and drafts, out of correspondences between the editorial staff of "Alef" (mainly Aharon Amir) and various intellectuals. Among them: a letter to Aharon Amir from Gershom Schocken, on official stationery of "HaAretz" newspaper (1950), discussing the possibility of literary collaboration between the two; copies of letters from "Alef" editorial to the newspapers "Yediot Ahronot" and "Ma'ariv" in response to false publications and inaccuracies about the movement; a letter from 1950, from a Lehi member (signed "ex-Lehi member"), concerning the affinities and ideological gaps between Lehi movement and the Canaanites; a furious letter of response, not signed, written in a rude and disparaging language following an article published by Ze'ev Hanun in the paper; copy of a request submitted in 1949 to the Rector of the Hebrew University, asking to let Yonatan Ratosh deliver a guest-lecture in the university; and more. · Two promotional posters for issues of "Alef" (January and September 1951), and one small poster. · About 140 press cuttings from various newspapers in which articles about the Canaanites movement and its members have been published, from the years 1951-1952. · Additional items. Size and condition vary. Fair-good overall condition. Folding marks, stains, creases and some tears to part of the items. Filing holes to several items. Open tears to several items, not affecting text.

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