Page 82 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

Basic HTML Version

JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
70
should not be measured by the number of books which appeared.
Quite a few poetic works did not appear because of paper shortage.
Z. Schneour is a Hebrew-Yiddish— that is a bi-lingual-writer.
To Hebrew literature he gave his masterful poetry; to Jewish
literature his rich prose. With the appearance of the first volume
of his historical novel,
Emperor and Rabbi
(Ziko Book Pub., 351
pp.), he took the first steps towards the production of a five volume
work in which he skillfully depicts the period between 1772 and
1812 — from the first partition of Poland until the downfall of
Napoleon in Russia.
On this historic journey Schneour describes the great Jewish
and non-Jewish personalities of that period, from Napoleon to
the founder of
Habad
Hassidism who shaped it.
The crucial historic epoch — the expulsion from Spain is de-
scribed in Mendel Elkin’s novel,
For Others' Sins
(223 pp.), a
full panorama of Middle Age bloodthirstiness, romance and in-
trigue resulting in Jewish martyrdom.
Amongst the prose writers of the new generation Noah Segalov-
sky played an important part. In the second volume of his trilogy,
Peasants
(131 pp.), he describes the Ukrainian village in a catas-
trophe, conveying at the same time the reaction of the Jewish
village minority both as individuals and as a national community.
The American Middle West with Chicago as its center has a
great many poets, but few prose writers. M. Gizes is the most
forceful amongst these prose writers. In his novel,
The Way to the
Mountain
(249 pp.), he describes the experiences of the artist
whose aspirations stumble upon the stark reality of his sur-
roundings.
In Jewish writings, as well as in the daily press, regularly
polished essays and critiques are brought to light, but a book of
essays or criticism is always a rarity on the Jewish book-market.
In 1944 three books on the subject of literary criticism made
their appearance. They are: Trunk’s
Tovia and Menahem Mendel
and World Jewry's Fate
(Ziko Book Pub., 302 pp.), which is a
continuation of the author’s typical work on Shalom Aleichem,
and Aaron Beckerman’s monographs,
Baruch Glassman
(160 pp.)
and
P. Bimco
(96 pp.). I t is interesting to note that Trunk —
although for some years a resident in America — is not an Amer-
ican Jewish writer, while Beckerman lived in France. In other
words, the three books of criticism should not be credited to
American Yiddish literature.
Regarding the history of Jewish literature, important literary
historical achievements were dealt with in the YIVO Journal,
The Zukunft
,
Yiddishe Kultur
and in other works. But not more