Page 49 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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GROSS/JEWISH THEMES IN RECENT POLISH LITERATURE
4 1
intellectuals, scholars and historians, both Jewish and Polish,
from all corners of the globe, including Poland, Israel and the
United States. Papers delivered at that conference were collected
and published in
TheJews in Poland,
edited by Chimen Abramsky,
Maciej Jachimczyk and Antony Polonsky (Oxford and New York:
Basil Blackwell, 1986). In 1986, additional scholarly conferences
on Polish-Jewish relations were held at Brandeis University in
Waltham, Mass., and at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow,
Poland.
Many people claim that an additional factor behind the recent
trend in book publishing, especially with respect to such imposing
books as the albums
Zydzipolscy
and
Czas kamieni,
is its connection
to the export trade and the Polish government’s need for hard
currency. Such books are indeed popular among Jews of Polish
origin throughout the entire world, including Israel, where there
is a considerable degree of interest in publications on Jews cur­
rently coming out of Poland. Jews who have left Poland in recent
decades remain wedded to the Polish language and to Polish lit­
erature, and do indeed form an important part of the worldwide
market for such works. Nevertheless, these publications are also
bestsellers in their home market back in Poland, where there is a
general hunger for high-quality books and where a special inter­
est in Judaica has manifested itself. It should be pointed out that
Jewish themes are also thoroughly evident in Polish emigre litera­
ture — but that is a topic that warrants an altogether separate
discussion.
Translated by Zachary M. Baker