Page 138 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 17 (1958-1959)

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132
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
an historical novel of the period of Herod by M. Osherowitch
and
Springs and Trees,
a series of novels by I. I . T ru n k based
on Yiddish folk literature of the 17th and 18th centuries.
In the field of poetry new works have appeared by H. Leivick,
B . J . Bialostotzky, 1. Gottlieb, David Sephard, Kehos Kliger and
Meyer Stiker. Women poets were represented by R ivka Basman,
M ina Bordo-R ivk in , Malka Tuzman, Dora Te ite lbaum and
Hadassah Rub in . In general, Yiddish poetry can be described
as modernistic and individualistic in form and expression. Yet
the personal impulse is inspired by universal and primarily by
national motifs. T h is tone characterizes H. Leiv ick ’s
Songs to
the Eternal,
which is in essence a dialogue between the poet and
God concerning the condition of mankind and the Jew ish fate.
I t is found also in Bialostotzky’s and Stiker’s longing for the
Jewish past and in the writings of the talented R ivka Basman
whose visionary poetry is impregnated with mourning for a
world that is no more.
T h e memoir literature was again very rich. Memoirs by vet­
erans of the revolutionary movement in Tzarist Russia, accounts
of small-town Jewish life in Eastern Europe and autobiographies
of writers and communal leaders were published this year.
L ife in the State of Israel and in Jewish communities through­
out the world was treated both in travel books and in ob jective
informative publications. Biographical dictionaries of Jewish
leaders in Brazil and Uruguay, which appeared this year, were
important contributions to the history of Jewish settlements
in L a tin America.
On a high level was literary criticism. T h e first two volumes
of the collected writings of the noted literary historian S. Niger
were published. In his memory, the Y IVO Institute for Jew ish
Research issued a significant publication with contributions by
noted scholars.
T h e LaMed prize for Yiddish prose was awarded to I. Metzker
for his stories entitled
God's Creatures,
and to Abraham Zak
for the last part of his trilogy
On the Paths of Chance and
Anarchy.
T h e LaMed poetry award was granted to M. Stiker
for
Yiddish Landscape.
Isaac Bashevis received the prize of the
American Academy of Arts and Letters for his works which have
been translated into English. T h e Harry and Florence Kovner
memorial award for Yiddish poetry was given to B . J . B ia lo ­
stotzky, and the M. Stoliar prize of the
Yiddishe Zeitung
in
Buenos Aires went to Yossel Birshtein.