By Ken Frieden
Yiddish literature, regardless of its striking achievements in the course of an period bounded by way of Russian reforms within the 1860s and the 1st global battle, hasn't ever earlier than been surveyed via a scholarly monograph in English. vintage Yiddish Fiction offers an summary and translates the Yiddish fiction of S. Y. Abramovitsh, Sholem Aleichem, and that i. L. Peretz. whereas reading their works, Frieden situates those 3 authors of their literary global and when it comes to their cultural contexts. or 3 generations in the past, Yiddish used to be the first language of Jews in Europe and the US. this present day, following the Nazi genocide and part a century of energetic assimilation, Yiddish is sinking into oblivion. by means of delivering a bridge to the misplaced continent of Yiddish literature, Frieden returns to these eu traditions. This trip again to Ashkenazic origins additionally encompasses broader horizons, because the improvement of Yiddish tradition in Europe and the USA parallels the historical past of alternative ethnic traditions.
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Extra resources for Classic Yiddish Fiction: Abramovitsh, Sholem Aleichem, and Peretz
Abramovitsh's Hebrew style owed a profound debt to Yiddish as well as to the multiple layers of ancient and medieval Hebrew. Publishing practices have obscured readers' awareness of Abramovitsh's literary evolution. There are virtually no critical editions of classic Yiddish fiction, and material conditions have not been conducive to reliable printings. Most classic Yiddish fiction first appeared in newspapers or journals; to varying degrees, the authors oversaw the canonization of their works in collected editions.
61-73, for an early discussion, in English, of Perl's Revealer of Secrets (Megale temirin) and Levinsohn's Words of the Righteous (Divrei tzadikim). 4Shmue\ Niger [Charney], "Yiddish Literature From the Mid-Eighteenth Cenrury Until 1942" ("Yidishe literatur fun mitn I8-to yorhundert biz 1942"), in the Algemeyne entsiklopedie, vol. 3: Yidn (New York: CYCO, 1942), p. 101; henceforth cited as "YL" by page alone. 18 ABRAMOVITSH EARLY EDUCATION Sholem Yankey Broyde, later Abramovitsh, was born in Kapolia (Kopyl, Minsk province) in 1836.
To avoid falling prey to this system, Abramovitsh may have posed as the (exempt) eldest son of a (fictitious) family. " The patriarch Abraham was not his roll;: model, for he had a more immediate prototype. TRAVELS At the age of seventeen, three years after his father's death, Sholem Yankev wandered extensively through Eastern Europe together IODavid Eynhorn, "Mendele at Work" ("Mendele bay der arbet"), in Zikhroynes vegn Mendelen, in Ale verk fun Mendele Moykher-Sforim, ed. ' 20, p. 59. D. Berkovitsh, Ha·rish'onim ki-vnei-adam: sippurei zikharonot 'al SholemAleichem u-vnei-doro, 3d ed.