Page 167 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 11 (1952-1952)

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161
MALACHI ---- DAVID FRISCHMAN
age. Tears of joy flowed from the latter’s eyes the first time he
met Frischman. The authors Eliezer Isaac Shapiro and Abraham
Zuckerman, who were booksellers and newspapers agents in War-
saw, urged him to publish his works. He sent to Smolenskin’s
magazine
Ha-shachar
his story
Ha-more tzedek
which he wrote at
the time of his Bar Mitzvah. The magazine
Ha-boker or
of Gott-
lober published his translation of Heine’s poem
Dona Clara
and
his original sonnet
Yesh tikvah
when he was fifteen. His lyric-
satiric poem,
Le-tovat Ha-klal
, which he printed at the same time
in
Ha-shachar
, made a particularly strong impression on his
readers — slightly reminiscent of Heine, it showed his chief in-
debtedness to Judah Leib Gordon.
The two works published in
Ha-shachar
revealed that the young
prodigy was destined to occupy a prominent position in Hebrew
literature. The story can still be read with pleasure today. Its
style and content show Frischman to have been under the in-
fluence of Smolenskin. Thus, like Smolenskin, Frischman gave
abstract names to the places mentioned in his story, a practice
which Frischman later was one of the first to abandon. Neverthe-
less, in this piece of juvenilia there were already signs, though
indeed faint ones, of the mature Frischman. His second story,
Be-yom ha-kippurim
, which was published in 1881 in
Ha-boker or
,
placed the young author in the first class of Hebrew bellelettrists,
although this story still shows him under the influence of
Smolenskin and Karl Emil Franzos.
At about the same time Frischman published an article in the
magazine
Ha-magid
called
Ani ve-avi zekeni
, in which he dwelt
on the struggle for the reformation of religion which, during the
Seventies, had lost its effectiveness. I t is very interesting that
Frischman’s first publicistic article was levelled, although albeit
indirectly, against the “article hysteria” and the “writing for
writing’s sake” in Hebrew periodicals of which Frischman later
became the chief opponent.
The childhood of Frischman ended at this point, and with his
article,
Mi-misterei sajrutenu
, which he published a short time
afterwards in the magazine
Ha-boker or
, his mature period may
be said to begin. This article was not written in the measure and
lyrical style of his early period but was vehement and belligerent
in tone. Frischman here took up the battle which he fought the
rest of his life.
This article sharply criticized Smolenskin’s
Am olam
, accusing
the author of plagiarizing Hess’s
Rome and Jerusalem.
This
article was written in the form of letters, a form which he later
chose for his critical
feuilletons
,
Michtavim al devar ha-safrut.
A continuation of this article is found in
Tohu va-vohu
and
A l