Page 62 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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AMONG THE RECENT HEBREW BOOKS
IN AMERICA
By
J
a co b
K
a b a k o f f
W
ITH the enforced curtailment of Hebrew publishing in
Palestine, we might have been led to expect an increase in
the number of volumes produced here. However, the rising publi-
cation costs coupled with the difficulties of expanding the Hebrew
book market have limited the scope of the few groups engaged in
fostering the Hebrew book. I t is only in one field, that of rabbinic
and reprint literature, that an appreciable crop of books appeared.
Without any apparent planning, many of the important rabbinic
source works are finding their way into new reprint editions. The
present survey deals with the outstanding works published during
the past year through April, 1948.
Hatekufah
, volume XXX II-XXX III (New York, The Goslava
and Abraham Joseph Stybel Foundation For Hebrew Literature),
presented us with another imposing collective volume, edited by
Eisig Silberschlag and Aaron Zeitlin. Unfortunately, A. J. Stybel,
the sponsor of the project, passed away before the publication of
this double issue. His role as a master builder of modern Hebrew
literature is commemorated in the opening section.
There are numerous significant contributions among the stories,
poems, translations, articles and studies included in the volume.
E. Steinman’s story describing the contrasting world views of his
two uncles is really the portrait of a European Jewish town and
its destruction. Short stories by Jochanan Twersky, Benjamin
Ressler and M. Z. Frank deal with American Jewish life. Worthy
of note in the poetry section are J. J. Shwartz’s reworking of part
of his Yiddish idyll of Kentucky life and Israel Efros’ “Man and
Chaos,” which points out the limitations of man’s knowledge.
The publishing of translations from world literature has long been
a tradition of
Hatekufah.
This year we have Hillel Bavli’s rendition
of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra” and Abraham Regel-
son’s translations from the poetry of Bryant and Whitman. Items
of American interest are those dealing with William James’
Pragmatism (Abraham Regelson), Roger Williams and William
Penn (Max Raisin) and Solomon Schechter (Solomon Goldman).
The contributions by the well-known essayist and thinker, Jacob
Klatzkin, are among his last writings. In his customary refined
style Klatzkin penned a series of reflections and aphorisms in which
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