Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 14

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
22
which later appeared in anthologies and in the annual collections
of “best” stories — or the editors said that they preferred articles:
“Our readers are not very much interested in fiction.”
This last statement I don’t believe at all. I am hardly an
objective reporter, since I am partial to short stories, but people
are people, and people like good short stories. And many good
short stories about Jews are being written — far more, I suspect,
than ever see the light of print. I think more of them should
appear in Anglo-Jewish magazines. This alone would do a great
deal to instil new life into these magazines. But if, for this or that
reason, no room can be found for these stories in current Anglo-
Jewish magazines, then why not start a new magazine devoted
entirely to Jewish short stories, and perhaps poems and one-act
plays, too? Really, why not? Money? I t would require very little
to start such a magazine — on a semi-annual or a quarterly basis.
Indeed, it would take no more money than is spent on the bang-up
affairs given every six months by more than one huge organization
I could mention. I once saw enough scotch and rye and brandy
and bourbon served at such an affair — it was a Hanukah party,
and scotch and potato
latkes
apparently go together, something I
had not known before — to pay for a whole issue of such a mag-
azine. But seriously, the money involved would be very little.
Confidentially, the Jewish Book Council of America could earn
for itself even more honor by sponsoring such a periodical. Indeed,
it seems to be the ideal agency to do so.
But no matter what happens, Jewish-American writers will
continue to write stories and novels about their people. They will
write more and more. They are a dedicated group. The really
good ones among them — and there are many — are in love with
their people and their ways in this country — with their aberra-
tions as well as their magnificences, with their occasional ex-
hibitions of forgetfulness of their heritage as well as their far more
common expressions of kindliness and tastefulness and all the
eternal wonderment that enters into Jewishness. And out of this
love will come fine and memorable imaginative works.