Page 57 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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45
MARK — ־ AMONG RECENT YIDDISH BOOKS
are always items of exceptional interest in his works. It is regret-
table, nevertheless, tha t despite his artistry he has not yet attained
the higher art of editing and cutting his own work and freeing it
of superfluous ballast. The second par t of this great work is better
than the first, but its construction is also faulty and its characters
not always clearly drawn. I t is likewise, questionable whether all
the characters and episodes in the novel are absolutely necessary.
The second part, incidentally, can be read as a separate work,
without reference to the first part.
I doubt whether Sh. Miller’s collection of stories
Roit un Shvarts
(Red and Black) belong to this year’s output. But it should be
noted for its mastery in conveying moods. A collection of stories
by David Pinski appeared this year:
Er Lept
(He is Alive). The
stories have been written mostly during the war years. From
Buenos Aires we received the interesting novel of Aaron Feierman
Iz Gekumen a Y id in Vald
(A Jew came to the Forest) which
deals with a young Jew estranged from his people who encounters
anti-Semitism in a remote forest in Argentina. A large collection
of stories by the departed Moshe Efron was issued posthumously
by his friends. This collection,
Zvishn Shotns un Andere Derzail-
ungen
(Among the Shadows, and Other Stories) abounds in veiled
references to the mysteries within the human soul.
FICTION AND MEMOIRS
I t is not always easy to draw the line between fiction and
autobiographical or memoir literature. In Yiddish literature espe-
cially there are famous works of fiction which give a first impression
of being autobiographies. Suffice it to recall Mendele Mocher
Seforim’s
Shloime Reb Khaim s
and Sholom Aleichem’s
Funem
Yarid
(From the Fair). A good example of a work tha t stands
midway between fiction and memoirs is J. J. T runk ’s
Poland.
This work was conceived in five parts and intended to 'g ive a
picture of Jewish life in Poland during the past century. The first
part, which appeared over a year ago, deals with the author’s fam-
ily before he was born. I t contains some very successful descrip-
tions and characterization. The author’s ironical attitude toward
his ancestors, especially toward those tha t were highly placed in
the Hassidic world, appears somewhat strange. More lyrical,
warm, and also more artistic is the second par t,
Kinderyorn
(Childhood Days), and the third part,
Yoognt
(Youth). Now tha t
the contours of the work as a whole are clearly discernible, it
emerges as a mighty at tempt to present the breadth and depth,
if not of all Poland, then at least of a large segment of the recent