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Homer who? The translation of Homer's "The Odyssey" into Hebrew will begin this year, in a project that aims to expose Israelis to classics rather than commercial fare, like the Simpson star above. Photo by AP
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Works by Freud, Homer and Hugo are among the classics to be translated into Hebrew this year, in a project of the Israel Center for Libraries.

As part of its Translation of Great Literary Works Project, the center is allocating about NIS 600,000 for translation of a number of works this year, including “The Odyssey” by Homer, to be translated by Aharon Shabtai; “A Hero of Our Time” by Mikhail Lermontov, to be translated by Nili Mirsky; the play “Britannicus” by Jean Racine, to be translated by Aminadav Dykman; “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo, to be translated by Erez Volk; and “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life” by Sigmund Freud, to be translated by Adam Tenenbaum.

The project, which operates with the support of the Culture and Sports Ministry, was founded about 40 years ago in order to bring the classics of world literature to Hebrew readers through the efforts of top translators.

“The Translation of Great Literary Works Project makes every effort to counter the decline in the status of translators and work for the benefit of non-commercial literature,” say the project chairwomanProfessor Nitza Ben-Ari and project manager Moshe Sakal.

This year’s selection of books join dozens of others that have been approved over the past few years and are currently being translated by various publishing houses.

Hundreds of literary classics have been published under the framework of the project since it was established in 1973 at the initiative of prominent writer and translator Boaz Evron. Among the works translated and published in recent years are: “The Brothers Karamazov,” “Anna Karenina,” “The Decameron,” “To the Lighthouse,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Dr. Faustus” and “Ulysses.”