Page 7 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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JACOB KABAKOFF
Introduction
T
h i s
y e a r
m a r k s
the dua l fortieth ann iversary o f the publication
o f the Jewish Book Annual and the activities o f the JW B Jew ish
Book Counc il. D u r in g this p e r iod we have en d e av o red to
chronicle the notable growth in Jew ish literary and scholarly
activity and book production . We continue to take p r ide in the
role which the Council has played in fu rth er ing these ends.
T o draw special attention to ou r anniversary, this Annual in­
cludes a cumulative index for volumes 26-40. T o ge th e r with ou r
previous index , which app ea red in volume 25, it a f fo rd s readers
and re searchers a key to hund reds o f critical articles, surveys and
bibliographies dea ling with various aspects o f our trilingual litera­
ture and spann ing many centuries and countries. Th is ann iver­
sary occasion is an oppo rtune time to exp re ss thanks to ou r many
contributors and the members o f the editorial advisory comm it­
tee who over the years have helped make the Annual the standard
reference work in the field.
II
T h e award ing o f the 1981 Nobel Prize for literature to Elias
Canetti, a Bu lgarian -born Sephard ic Jew , was especially notewor­
thy. In recent years the prize has gone to Jew ish authors like Isaac
Bashevis S inger (1978) and Saul Bellow (1976), and previously to
Shmuel Y o se f Agnon and Nelly Sachs (1966). Canetti repre sen ts
a unique figu re in that he writes in Germ an and that his writings
have given him a p lace within the cosmopolitan Central Eu ropean
tradition o f such m a jo r Austrian Jew ish writers as H erm an
Broch , Franz K a fka and Karl K raus . Bu t unlike K rau s , who
rejected his Jew ishness , Canetti a ff irm s his Jew ish background
and views Jew ish persecution as a symbol o f the depravity to
which the un tramm eled use o f power can lead mankind.
An Englishm an by naturalization who lives most o f the time in
Zurich, Canetti has distinguished h im self in a variety o f literary
fo rm s . H is n ove l Auto-da-Fe (1 9 3 5 ; En g l ish t r a n s . , 1979 )