Page 12 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 34

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2
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
A shocking statistic for a people concerned with preserving its
past and safeguarding its future.
Books are the principal repository in the treasure house of
our people’s millennial culture. They are the metronome that
records the heartbeat of the Jewish psyche, the rhythm and
meter of the Jewish ethos. Therefore, central to each volume
of the
Jewish Book Annual
are the seven bibliographies that
constitute the barometer by which we measure the Jewish liter­
ary harvest gleaned during the past year: American Jewish Non-
Fiction Books; American Jewish Fiction Books; Jewish Juvenile
Books; American Hebrew Books; Yiddish Books; Anglo-Jewish
Books; Selected Books of Israel.
The table of contents indicates the broad spectrum of topics
in this volume. Sol Liptzin’s “The Jewish Writer in America:
First Century,” provides germane information about our early
Jewish writers. Joseph Landis limns a graphic drama portrait in
his “Literature on the Yiddish Theatre: On the Occasion of Its
100th Anniversary.” In Yiddish we have “Yiddish Literary Crit­
ics,” by H. Bass. In Hebrew we have G. Kressel’s “400 Years
of Hebrew Printing in Palestine.” Leon I. Yudkin analyzes
the themes and the literary trends of “The New Israeli Nov­
elists.” In keeping with the new National Jewish Book Award
for an English translation of a Jewish classic, we have the editor’s
article “On the Art of Translation.”
II
For the past several decades prophets of doom have been re­
peating their gloomy litany that Yiddish would become mori­
bund. Happily, there is increasing confirmation that they were
pseudo-prophets. Indeed, there is ample evidence of a whole­
some Yiddish revival surpassing the hopes of its most ardent
devotees.
There is a report in the
Jewish Cultural News
(vol. 2, No. 1,
Sept.-Oct. 1975) of a significant three-day conference held in
New York under the auspices of the YIVO Institute for Jewish
Research and Columbia University. I t was attended by 80 college
teachers of Yiddish, representing 27 United States and Canadian
colleges that include Yiddish in their curriculum. (Yiddish
is
being taught
in
42 American colleges and
in 9
Hillels.)
In the