Israeli Pulp Collection at Arizona State University

A fascinating article on Arizona State University’s Israeli pulp collection, curated by Rachel Leket-Mor, described as “one of the most complete representations of this unusual type of literature”:

Bright, lively illustrations splash across the covers of small, aged booklets that comprise the IsraPulp collection at Arizona State University. The collection is the sole compilation of Israeli pulp fiction in the United States and contains a wide variety of works. Many of these booklets, known as chapbooks and about the size of a DVD case, are several decades old and representative of popular magazine style publications printed on rough, delicate chip paper.

Several genres are represented in the collection, which is housed in ASU’s Hayden Library. Many of the works are Westerns, which were highly popular in Israel throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Other genres include espionage thrillers, war stories related to World War II, superhero stories, science fiction stories, and “Stalags,” a type of story that ASU Jewish Studies librarian Rachel Leket-Mor describes as “a genre that brought together American POWs during WWII, sadistic SS female guards, and a lot of imagination in what seems to constitute, in a way, the first literary responses to the Holocaust in Israel.”

Titles in this collection are distinctive and address several aspects of Israeli culture. Many of the pieces of pulp fiction were adapted from the fiction of other countries, especially the United States. “Tarzan ha-Nokem,” translated into English as “Tarzan Revenges,” is the very first Tarzan story written in Hebrew and was published in 1939. – continue reading.


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