Page 10 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

Basic HTML Version

2
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
symposium conduc ted by
Kultur un Leben,
o rgan o f the Work­
m en ’s Circle (May 1979), much rema ins to be done to take advan ­
tage o f the improved climate fo r Yiddish in America.
T he
Annual
fo r its p a r t deems it essential to con tinue to draw
a ttention to the treasu res contained in Yiddish literature . A num ­
ber o f articles are again devoted to this aspect o f ou r creativity. In
his Yiddish article, Hyman B. Bass has h ighlighted the central
role played by Abraham Reisen as poet and short story writer.
Elias Schulman has dea lt critically with con temporary Soviet Yid­
dish writing and its concerns. T h e centenary o f the b ir th o f
Sholem Asch serves as the occasion fo r an evaluation by Emanuel
S. Goldsmith o f a major au tho r whose writings helped pave the
way fo r the worldwide recognition o f Yiddish.
Finally, an apprecia tion o f the manifold contributions to Yid­
dish literature by Chaim G rade is o ffered on the occasion o f his
70th birthday by Susan A. Slotnick. G rade is among the masters o f
Yiddish poetry and prose writing. His work is significant in th a t it
authentically reflects the spiritual riches o f the Jewish trad ition
and movingly laments ou r losses occasioned by the Holocaust.
I I
In his comprehensive overview o f the American Jewish novel,
Daniel Walden takes issue with the sobering statement by Leslie
Fiedler tha t the “American Jewish literary genre was dead .” Re­
cently, Norm an Podhoretz, in an essay entitled “T h e Rise and Fall
o f the American Jewish Novelist” (in
Jewish Life in America,
ed ited
by Gladys Rosen, N.Y., 1978), has also discerned signs o f decline
and ’’creative exhaustion” in American Jew ish writing. It is reas­
suring, therefo re , to learn tha t Walden perceives the American
Jewish novel to be “alive and well” and tha t he finds the Jewish
novelists o f the 70s to be in search o f new basic themes and issues.
Eisig Silberschlag presents an illum inating survey o f the image
o f the Arab in Hebrew fiction. In this connection it is noteworthy
tha t the 9th Jerusa lem Book Fair, held du r ing April 19-25, 1979,
was the first such ga thering since the signing o f the Egyptian-
Israeli peace treaty. It is repo r ted tha t “the re was even a collective
Arabic stand displaying some 200 volumes published in Israel
and also, for the first time, books from East Jerusa lem , Ju d e a and
Samaria”
(Publishers Weekly,
May 28, 1979). Many felt th a t this