Page 23 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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3
S
te inbach
— I
ntroduct ion
ship. The criterion invoked by the Swedish Academy was that
“each represents Israel’s message in our time.”
Both have captured in their works the profound humanity, the
powerful yet elusive imponderables which pulsate out of the
Jewish psyche; the beauty and the pain, the terror and the rap-
ture, the frustration and heroism, the mystery and torment, the
grey hue of despair and the golden outline of hope—all are inter-
spersed in the broad tapestries these laureates have woven on the
loom of their genius.
III
A glance at the table of contents will, it is hoped, reveal the
thread of unity the editors sought to entwine in the overall con-
figuration of this jubilee volume. The subjects vary; the materials
deal with diffuse areas of Jewish thought, Jewish creativity and
cultural activity the world over, especially as delineated in books.
Among the topics are famous Jewish books and book collectors,
Yizkor books, literature on Jewish art, scholarly works on Jewish
philosophy and religion, Yiddish and Hebrew belles-lettres, books
on the history and philosophy of Jewish education, books on
biblical history and archaeology, Jewish juvenile literature, an-
other fine Maurice Samuel manuscript on Sholom Aleichem,
French-Jewish writers, contemplation of Israel’s flux and reflux,
the Jewish book in American publishing—to mention a partial
list. The articles were prepared by authoritative writers who have
provided an articulate and erudite discussion of the subjects they
undertook to explore.
Vitally significant is the paper by Rabbi Philip Goodman, our
energetic Managing Editor, “A Chronicle of the Jewish Book
Council of America,” in which he has painstakingly recorded
the history of the Council since its inception in 1942.
Of paramount importance in every
Annual
are the bibliogra-
phies of new books, and as usual they include: American Jewish
Non-Fiction Books; American Jewish Fiction Books; Jewish
Juvenile Books; American Hebrew Books; Yiddish Books; Anglo-
Jewish Books; Selected Books of Israel. These combine into a
rich fare to sate the appetite of those who concur that “the silent
power of books is a great power in the world.”
The trilingual pattern of the
Annual
is maintained with three
articles in Hebrew, two in Yiddish, one translation from Hebrew,
two from Yiddish, one bibliography in Yiddish, and two in
Hebrew.
IV
During the past year death set up his bivouac upon our ter-
restrial shoal of time and summoned two of our distinguished