Page 54 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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vince of Quebec
(Toronto, 1871), of
Practical Suggestions on
Mining Rights
(Montreal, 1867), and several other volumes.
Then came Gerald Ephraim Hart with
The Fall of New France
(Montreal, 1888),
The Quebec Act, 1774
(Montreal, 1891) and
Rebellion Notes of 1837.
He was followed by Moses Hart,
author of
General Universal Religion
and of
Modern Rel igion
(New York, 1818 and 1824).
To return to the field of literature proper, Isidore Ascher
began his literary career in Montreal with a collection of poems,
Voices from the Hearth
(Montreal, 1863). Later he quit the
profession of law and proceeded to England where, during a
long professional writing career, he published many volumes of
stories, plays and poems which are now all rare collectors’ items.
In the twentieth century Hyman Edelstein, an Irish Jew,
continued the Canadian Jewish literary tradition with a series
of some fifteen books. These included his
Canadian Lyrics
(Toronto, 1916; Montreal, 1921, 1922);
From Judaean Vine-
yards
(Montreal, 1914);
The Higher Loyalty,
by Don Synge
(pseud.) (Ottawa, 1946):
The Last Mathematician
(Toronto,
1949);
Pine and Palm
(Montreal, 1927);
Selected Poems
(Ot-
tawa, 1931); and
The Spirit of Israel
(Toronto, 1942, 1950). An
ardent Zionist as well as an Irish patriot, a Hebrew scholar
as well as a master of Greek and Latin, a civil servant and
editor of the
Canadian Jewish Chronicle,
Edelstein, like his
predecessor Ascher and like almost all his successors in Canadian
literature, wrote freely on Jewish themes with a wealth of
recondite Jewish allusions, preparing the way for the luminary
of Canadian literature, A. M. Klein.
The Contribution of A. M . Klein
Klein is numbered among the foremost Canadian writers.
He has received just about every literary honor bestowed in
Canada, from the Governor-General’s award to the medal of the
Quebec government. From his first published work in the
Menorah Journal
to his most recent novel,
The Second Scroll
(New York, 1951), his is the expression of the complete per-
sonality, with its considerable Jewish interest and Hebrew learn-
ing. His poetry is frequently based upon the emotions of a
modern Jew and alludes to every phase of current and ancient
Jewish life. By his own writings, by the interest and respect
he inspired and by the example he set, he expanded polyglot
Canadian literature with an important Jewish facet.
Without entering into the field of criticism, it is noteworthy
that a number of students of Canadian literature have inde-
pendently come to the conclusion that, in poetry and in the
novel, Jewish writers and Jewish writers only are inevitably