Page 129 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 33

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STEINBACH / SOL LIPTZIN
119
In addition to the books enumerated above, Dr. Liptzin has
authored the following:
Germany’s Stepchildren
(1944),
Peretz
(1947),
Eliakum Zunser
(1950) also Hebrew translation (1953),
The English Legend of Heinrich Heine
(1954),
Generation of
Decision: Jewish Rejuvena tion in America
(1958),
The Flower­
ing of Yiddish L iterature
(1963),
The Jew in American L itera­
ture
(1970),
A H istory of Yiddish L iterature
(1972).
Such an impressive chronicle of creativity reflects a gifted mind
that must, like a little volcano, burst forth periodically into an
illuminating volume. Since he made his
aliyah
to Jerusalem the
Golden, Dr. Liptzin seems unable (certainly unwilling) to curb
that “little volcano.” Recently he wrote to me: “Since 1972 I
have been working on
B iblical Themes in World L iterature,
an
inexhaustible subject . . . I intend to devote whatever years may
still be granted me to essays in this field.”
HIS RESEARCH IN YIDDISH L IT E R A TU R E
In Dr. Liptzin’s first decade in Israel his principal research
was in Yiddish literature. This preoccupation with Yiddish litera­
ture may appear paradoxical in a country where Hebrew is the
official language. Chaim Weizmann called
Iv r it
the
lashon
hakodesh,
the holy tongue, and Yiddish the
lashon hakedoshim,
the language of the Six Million martyrs who perished with a
Yiddish word on their lips. It may well be that Weizmann’s poig­
nant reference played a role in Dr. Liptzin’s choice; but whatever
the motivation, the four volumes he produced constitute a
precious treasure trove on the subject. The reader derives knowl­
edge and inspiration from the author’s insightful writings, in the
manner that bees feasting on flowers depart laden with pollen.
In his
The Flowering of Yiddish L iterature,
Dr. Liptzin covers
the period from Mendele and Goldfaden to World War I.
The
Maturing of Yiddish L iterature
deals with writers and move­
ments that appear on the scene between the two world wars. In
A H istory of Yiddish L iterature,
Dr. Liptzin’s third volume on
Yiddish literature since the Holocaust, he included an abbrevia­
tion of his first two volumes. This is the first history that
describes Soviet Yiddish literature and the Yiddish literary
centers of Rumania, Latin America, England, France, Australia,
South Africa and Israel; also the Yiddish centers of Eastern