Page 63 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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SCHULMAN / SOVIET YIDDISH WRITING
55
LEADING CONTRIBUTORS
Among the more im po r tan t prose writers who have appeared
in the jo u rn a l’s pages are Elya Schechtman, N athan Zabare, Alek­
sand r Lizen, Note Lurie, Yosif Rabin, Yehiel Shraybman, I.
Falikman. We cannot dwell at length on individual writers and
the ir work. But as representative examples we will discuss briefly
the novels o f Schechtman, Lurie, Lizen, Vergelis, and the late
N athan Zabare.
Elya Schechtman appeared in Yiddish litera tu re in the thirties.
He published a num ber o f books which a ttracted attention, bu t
they did no t p repa re the public fo r
Erev.
T he novel begins with a
description o f Jewish life at the tu rn o f the cen tury and follows it
into the following decades. It is written in the trad iton o f Yiddish
realism, and bears the marked influence o f Sholem Asch, Joseph
Opatoshu , and particularly o f David Bergelson. Striking an au ­
thentic Ukrainian note, the au tho r depicts a large Jewish family,
the Boyars. T he style o f the novel is vibrant, its dialogues and
inner monologues are both persuasive and characteristic. T he
milieu and the interrelationships are artistically and sensitively
described. Schechtman has left the Soviet Union and setded in
Israel where he continues to compose his novel, carrying ou t his
original plan — to bring the story down to the found ing o f Israel.5
The Story of a Love,
by Note Lurie
(Sovetish Heimland,
1976)
recalls the narrator-music ian’s early love fo r a young girl in a
shtetl
in the fo rm e r Pale. A fter the war, Yokheved, a scientist who lives
in Leningrad , decides to visit h e r former home where all the Jews
were massacred by the Nazis. She finds only the remaining little
porch and , determ ined to plant a tree there, begins to dig. She
strikes a bomb left by the Germans; it explodes and she is fatally
in ju red .6
A leksandr Lizen is a new writer on the Soviet Yiddish scene.
Until recently he wrote in Russian and Ukrainian, bu t in recent
years he has begun to write in Yiddish. His stories about Jewish
people, the ir attitudes and contacts with the ir non-Jewish neigh­
8 Elya Schechtman’s novel was translated into English by Joseph Singer and
published by Crown Publishers under the titl
eErev
in New York, 1967. It began
to appear in
Sovetish Heimland.
The first two parts were published in the Yiddish
original in Moscow in 1965. Later the first four parts were published in two
volumes in Tel-Aviv, by the Peretz Publishing House, 1974.
8 The novel and a few stories were published later in book form. See Note Lurie,
Yam un Himl
(Sea and Sky), Moscow, 1978.