Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

Basic HTML Version

JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
42
Jewish sources for literary creativity is partly a result of the feeling
of the American Yiddish writer that he must hold on to the thread
of Jewish continuity, that he must not lose Jewish historical
perspective.
Revolving around Jewish historical figures many Yiddish dramas
were created here, both for the melodramatic and the modern-
artistic Yiddish theatre. Dramas of the Jewish milieu were also
written. Here one should mention the works of Jacob Gordin,
David Pinsky, Peretz Hirschbein, H. Leivick and others noted
above. New York grotesques, very fine theatrical pieces, were
written by Ossip Dymov in
Bronx Express
and Chone Gottesfeld
in
A Livelihood.
SCIENTIFIC AND PUBLICISTIC WRITINGS
Thus the thread of Yiddish literary creativity in America was
being woven which embraced realism, romanticism, universalism
and nationalism, historicism and folklore, symbolism and Mes-
sianism, and purely human individual longings.
In close connection with new moods and new ideas that stirred
the Jew in the western world new and important Yiddish historians
and publicists came upon the scene. Among them were Sh.
Rosenfeld, Chaim Greenberg, Jacob Leschinsky, Dr. S. Margoshes
and Baruch Zukerman, whose writings revolved mainly around
Zionist problems, and Dr. Zhitlovsky, S. Niger, A. Coralnik,
Dr. A. Mukdoni, Dr. S. Simon, Dr. I. N. Steinberg, Leibush
Lehrer, Dr. I. Knox, Eliyahu Shulman, Moshe Starkman and
Abba Gordin, who were more concerned with the survival of
Jewish traditions and folk life. Such publicists as Ephraim Kaplan,
Gedalia Bublick and David Eidelsberg wrote about problems of
Jewish religion. Talented columnists and publicists like B. Z.
Goldberg, Moshe Katz, Chaim Lieberman, David Shub, Dr.
Herman Frank, B. Sherman and I. Levin-Shatzkes devoted their
main attention to sociological problems. Historians included
Dr. Jacob Shatzky of whose monumental history of the Jews of
Warsaw, three volumes have already been published; Raphael
Mahler; Chaim Shauss, historian of the Biblical epoch; A. Menes,
historian and publicist; and Philip Friedman, historian of the
recent Hitlerite era of destruction.
Eminent literary critics who contributed much to American
Yiddish literature over many years are Samuel Niger, who recently
issued important volumes of literary criticism; A. Coralnik, a
beautiful stylist; B. Rivkin, visionary; Dr. A. Mukdoni, acute
observer; Nachman Meisel, critic and researcher; N. B. MinkofF,