Page 8 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
the John Hopkins Press o f two new journals:
Prooftexts, ajournal of
Jewish literary history,
which promises to serve as a forum fo r critical
discussion o f the full range o f Jewish literature, including H e ­
brew and Yiddish creativity, an dM o ^ rn
Jewish studies,
which is to
include within its purview the rise o f modern Hebrew literature.
These jou rna ls are to feature also authoritative review essays and
book reviews which will draw attention to significant new works o f
Judaica.
These new developments in university press publications,
coupled with the increased attention being given by Jewish and
general publishers to the issuing o f titles on the Holocaust, Amer­
ican Jewish life and o ther aspects o f the Jewish experience, p ro ­
vide positive indications o f the expansion o f Jewish publishing
and promise to yield additional fruits in the years to come. T he
Annual
looks forward with anticipation to the task o f record ing
and interpre ting these developments.
II
The passing o f Uri Zvi Greenberg in Israel on May 8, 1981,
removed from the Jewish literary scene a major Hebrew poet who
made also impo rtan t contributions to Yiddish poetry. Perhaps
more than any o ther Hebrew poet he gave voice to the anguish o f
ou r generation over the horro rs o f the Holocaust. At the same
time he sang a song o f Jewish strength and
malkhut
(statehood).
Leon I. Yudkin’s article on Greenberg evaluates the critical ap ­
proaches to the poet’s work and places him within the context of
his time.
Hebrew poetry also sustained earlier in 1981 the loss in Israel o f
Yonatan Ratosh and Israel Efros. Ratosh went back for insp ira­
tion to the pre-Jewish civilization o f Canaan and made vivid use o f
biblical imagery. Efros, the eldest o f the generation o f American
Hebrew poets, made his mark both here and in Israel as poet and
philosopher. His collected Hebrew works in ten volumes reflect
the many-sided creativity of a writer who achieved full in teg ra­
tion into the literary and scholarly worlds o f both centers. The
writer o f these lines devoted an article to Efros on the occasion o f
his 80th anniversary in volume 28 (1970-71) o f
the Annual.
In one o f his somber moods Moses ben Ezra wrote: “T h e re are
no markets for the wares o f poetry.” I f one is to judg e from the