Page 149 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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ABRAMOWICZ----AMERICAN YIDDISH BOOKS
139
Buenos Aires, the small Jewish community of Brazil has this year
developed considerable literary activity.
The number of Yiddish books published this year is no less
than the previous one. In the field of belles-lettres, the emphasis
has been on the recent past, especially on the traditional Jewish
life in rural areas. The class struggle is another theme evident in
the writings of Yiddish authors from behind the Iron Curtain.
There is a rich harvest of short stories on varied themes. The
anthologies of Yiddish verse serve to present and preserve poetry
that originally appeared in periodicals.
Memoir literature presents fascinating material on the lives
of Jewish communal leaders, workers and immigrants. Some of
the authors concentrate on depicting their milieu rather than their
own lives. Thus such works border on autobiography and creative
writing.
In the field of history and the social sciences, very little has been
accomplished. A great loss was suffered in the death of Dr. Jacob
Shatzky, a distinguished Jewish historian. New editions of old
works, such as S. Dubnow’s
World History of the Jewish People
,
must satisfy the modern Yiddish reader. The first history of the
Hebrew alphabet in Yiddish, by Elias Lipiner, is an important
contribution. The history of parties and organizational movements
has been treated in several volumes.
An important by-product of the
Hurban
literature, which grows
year by year, is the light it sheds on the life of small Jewish settle­
ments which hitherto have not been treated historically.
Significant works on literary history and culture have also
appeared. These include
The Yiddish Press in Warsaw
and
Biographical Dictionary of Modern Yiddish Literature
, both pub­
lished by the Congress for Jewish Culture.
I t is evident that Yiddish literature is richest in creative writing,
in literary criticism and in documentation of the
Hurban.
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