Page 37 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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HOLTZ/A LIFETIME OF READING
2 9
Religious concerns were expressed in theological writing and also
in fiction and poetry.
An excellent anthology in English of Hebrew writing is Robert
Alter’s
Modem Hebrew Literature
(Behrman House, 1975) as is
Warren Bargad and Stanley Chyet,
Israeli Poetry
(Indiana Univer­
sity, 1986). For Yiddish writing the great anthologies are Irving
Howe and Eliezer Greenberg,
A Treasury of Yiddish Stories
(Schocken, 1973) and
A Treasury of Yiddish Poetry
(Schocken,
1976). See also Irving Howe and Ruth Wisse,
The Best of Sholom
Aleichem
(Pocket Books, 1983) and the many novels and stories by
I. B. Singer.
For additional guidance in the area of Hebrew literature one
could look at Simon Halkin,
Modern Hebrew Literature
(Schocken,
1970) and the appropriate essays in two books by Robert Alter,
After the Tradition
(Dutton, 1969) and
Defenses of the Imagination
(JPS, 1977). For the role of the Holocaust in Israeli literature see
Alan Mintz,
Hurban
(Columbia University, 1984), pp. 157-271.
For Yiddish literature see Ruth Wisse,
The Schlemiel as a Modem
Hero,
(University of Chicago, 1971) and David Roskies,
Against the
Apocalypse
(Harvard University, 1984).
For fiction written in English the major writers are well-known:
Saul Bellow (in particular
Herzog
and
The Victim
for their Jewish
concerns), Philip Roth (in particular
Goodbye Columbus
and the
trilogy
Zuckerman Bound),
and Bernard Malamud (in particular
his complete
Stories
). These three writers have, of course, an
international reputation, but others both popular and serious,
deal more specifically with “Jewish themes”: Chaim Potok in all of
his fiction, Cynthia Ozick, Elie Wiesel, as well as Herman Wouk,
Leon Uris and numerous others. Among the younger writers, see
in particular Nessa Rapoport’s
Preparingfor Sabbath
for its serious
concern with contemporary religious issues, and the reworkings
of folk tales and fairy tales done in a number of works by Howard
Schwartz.
In poetry the best source is the wide-ranging international
anthology edited by Howard Schwartz and Anthony Rudolf,
Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets
(Avon, 1980). For
secondary sources for this literature see the relevant chapters in
the two books by Robert Alter mentioned above,
After the Tradition
and
Defenses of the Imagination.
Finally, we should look at the major figures of Jewish theology
who have written in this century. In particular: Martin Buber,
I