Page 44 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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J
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A. Studies in literature and literary criticism lead the list of
publications. Isaac Bashevis Singer seems to receive considerable
attention. As a matter of fact, he seems to be the only Yiddish
writer whose novels are read (in translation, of course) and
written about in literature classes. This is confirmed by the publi-
cation of at least four books about him in recent years by uni-
versity presses:
The Achievement of Isaac B. Singer
by Marcia
Allentuck, Southern Illinois University Press (1969);
Isaac B.
Singer and the Eternal Past
by Irving Buchen, New York Uni-
versity Press (1968);
Critical Views of Isaac B. Singer
by Irving
Malin, New York University Press (1968);
Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Ben Siegel, University of Minnesota Press (“Pamphlets of
American Writers,” 1969). Hardly any other contemporary writer
in Yiddish, nor any of the classics, Mendele, Peretz, etc., com-
manded sufficient interest to produce a book by a university
press. Franz Kafka is also widely studied. At least three works
about him and his literary influence should be noted:
Franz
Kafka: Parable and Paradox
by Heinz Politzer, Cornell University
Press (1962 and rev. 1967);
Franz Kafka
by Walter Sokel, Colum-
bia University Press (1966);
There Goes Kafka
by Johannes Urzi-
dil, Wayne State University (1969).
B. Closely related to the above subject, the impact of a
“Jewish” or “Jewishly motivated” theme upon English and world
literature received due attention in scholarly works. Foremost in
this category is
The Legend of the Wandering Jew
by George K.
Anderson, Brown University Press (1965). The publisher recom-
mended this title to be included among those which “have made
the strongest impact on contemporary society or most enriched
our culture” in the last quarter century.11 The theme of Shylock
was dealt with anew in recent years in at least two works:
Shylock
on the Stage
by Toby Lelyveld, The Press of Case Western Reserve
University (1960);
From Shylock to Svengali: Jewish Stereotypes
in English Fiction
by Edgar Rosenberg, Stanford University Press
(1965).
C. Anthologies and translations from Hebrew and Yiddish
belong in the area of literary activity. Two books should be noted:
Onions and Cucumbers and Plums: 46 Yiddish Poems in English
by Sarah Z. Betsky, Wayne State University Press (1958);
Modern
Hebrew Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology
by Ruth F. Mintz, Uni-
versity of California Press (1966).
D. Some university presses specialize in the production of mate-
rials which highlight regional problems and the heritage of the
region. Th is is especially the case with state university presses.12
11
Saturday Review ,
June 10, 1967, “A Quarter-Century of Milestones,”
pp. 31 ff.