Page 127 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 33

Basic HTML Version

A. ALAN STEINBACH
Sol Liptzin
On the Occasion of His 75th Birthday
I
t
w o u l d
b e
f u t il e
to venture an adequate characterization of
Sol Liptzin, whose biography is in a dozen Who’s Who’s and
in a half-dozen encyclopedias, and who has authored seventeen
erudite books, 130 essays and research papers in English and
thirty-nine in Yiddish, and several hundred book reviews. We
can hope here only to delineate his gentle character and fruitful
career as scholar, educator, author, biographer, translator, and
chronicler of notable Jewish contributions to belles lettres. The
emergent personality is that of a creative individual who loves
everything Jewish and takes pride in his Jewish heritage.
Sol Liptzin was born July 27, 1901, in Satanov, Russia, and
came to New York in 1910, at the age of nine. He was educated
at the College of the City of New York (B.A. 1921) and at
Columbia University (M.A. 1922, Ph.D 1934). He attended the
University of Berlin, 1922-23, where his interest was fostered for
the romantic movement in the German Literature of the 19th
century. He wrote several books on the relationship of German
literature to the contemporary movement in English letters:
Shelley in Germany
(1924),
The Weavers in German Literature
(1926),
Lyric Pioneers of Modern Germany
(1928),
Heine
(1928),
From Noralis to N ietzsche
(1929),
R ichard Beer- Hof­
mann
(1936),
A Historical Survey of German L iterature
(1936).
This cluster of sophisticated works was the precursor of Dr.
Liptzin’s brilliant and fecund literary output and extraordinary
productivity. As the years succeeded each other on the tracks of
time, his eloquent pen became a flaming torch illumining with
ever-growing incandescence the broad spectrum of Jewish literary
and culturing striving.
From 1923 until 1963 Dr. Liptzin served on the faculty of the
C.C.N.Y. His long teaching career of more than four decades
permitted him to exert his benedictive influence on thousands
of students. He became Chairman of the Department of Ger­
117