Page 148 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
known that the respect which there once was for the elders of the
family is not as it is now. I turned all red and promised him that I
would not continue anymore in this job, asking him to find me
another position according to his own choice.” The elder Car­
mona found Elia a position in the printery of the Judeo-Spanish
newspaper
El Tiempo.
He then told Elia: “Take note of what I tell
you: the most honest man in life is the worker, the one who earns
his daily bread very honestly.” Although Elia received very little
pay in the printery, he became a good worker and learned the
printing trade.
At that time, Mr. David Fresco was the director of the newspa­
per
E l Telegrafo.
Fresco began a polemic against the Chief Rabbi
of Turkey, Rabbi Moshe Alevy. The Chief Rabbi then had Fres­
co’s paper closed. But Fresco obtained an order from the Turkish
government allowing him to re-open; eight days later another
order came from the Sultan ordering Fresco to leave his position
as editor. Fresco, forced to abandon that newspaper, founded a
new publication,
El Instructor,
and he hired some of the workers
from
El Tiempo.
In the shuffle of employees, Elia Carmona had
become the head typesetter for
E l Tiempo.
But the salary was so
low that he decided to leave the printing profession. Carmona
tried various other occupations, but ultimately returned to work
in the printing business for David Fresco.
TURNS TO FICTION
Eventually, Carmona decided to leave town for a while to try to
improve his lot. He went to Salonika. Unable to find work there,
he then went to Smyrna. He spoke to a number of people, and
then came to the conclusion that it was best for him to go to Paris.
But his mother tricked him into returning to Istanbul, saying that
his father had fallen ill. Once back in Istanbul, Carmona again
tried his hand at peddling. His mother suggested that he start to
write stories and print them, selling them for a profit. In fact, his
mother told him stories and Elia began his career as a publisher of
fiction. “Having noticed that the person who reads Spanish
knows neither Turkish nor French, I began to write in a popular
language so that children as well as adults could understand, and
thereby my little stories began to have much success.” He entered
a business relationship with the publishers Arditti and Castro,
and they printed a number of stories. “I went to see plays, in