Shamir is an Israeli translator and a scholar. A native of
Novosibirsk, Siberia, a grandson of a professor of mathematics
and a descendant of a Rabbi from Tiberias, Palestine, he grew up
in Israel where he moved to in 1968. He served as paratrooper in
the army and fought in the 1973 war. After a long career as a
journalist and writer, which included assignments in Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia during the war, a spell at the BBC, a long
sojourn in Japan and a work for various Israeli newspapers, he
turned to more scholarly quests.
He translated and
annotated the cryptic works of S.Y.
the only Hebrew Nobel Prize winning writer, from the original
Hebrew into Russian. His work was published and reprinted many
times in both Israel and in Russia. The Haaretz newspaper
called this “the best translation of Agnon into any language”.
His Commentary to Agnon opened the oblique world of Jewish
tradition to non-Jewish readers, said the newspaper. Shamir’s
reputation as a Judaic scholar was further enhanced when in 2006
his mammoth annotated translation of a medieval Hebrew classic
Sefer Yohassin (The Book of Lineage) was published by Zacuto
Books. Shamir dealt also with modern Hebrew literature: his
translation of an Israeli ultra-modernist Gabriel Moked’s book
The Variations was published in St Petersburg. Another of
his translations, the Israeli-Arab Wars by President
Herzog, was published in London.
Jewish subjects were
not the only theme of his broad interests. Shamir translated
selected chapters of Joyce's
which were published in Moscow, Tel Aviv, New York and Austin,
Texas. They were also included in the anthology of best Joyce
translations by Moscow Raduga publishers. Shamir also
a second or third such endeavour in Russian literary history.
Following an idea of Borges, Shamir attempted to translate the
Odyssey as read by the eyes of Bloom, the hero of Ulysses.
The Odyssey and selected chapters of Ulysses in
Shamir’s translation were published in 2000 in St. Petersburg,
Shamir also published many
works of non-fiction dealing with the question of the Jewish
people and Palestine. They are available in many languages on
web and in printed form. He is a firm believer in full
integration of Jews within the society of the countries they
Shamir (60) lives in Jaffa and spends much
time in Moscow and Stockholm ; he is father of three sons.
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