Page 81 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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the Chmielnicki massacres in the Ukraine in 1648. In quick
succession followed Isaac Goldberg’s translation of
Mottke the
(1917), a story of underworld life in Warsaw;
(1918), translated by James Fuchs, an account of a trip to America
and the early difficulties of adjustment to the new home of a
sensitive boy.
God of Vengeance
, translated by Isaac Goldberg, a
play about an innocent girl in a sordid atmosphere of commercial-
ized vice, was published in the same year.
In addition, Sholem Aleykhem’s
, the romance of a
fiddler in the Pale of Settlement, was published in 1913 in the
translation of Hannah Berman.
Yiddish poetry, probably because of the difficulty inherent in
translation, was poorly represented in English. In 1914, appeared
Morris Rosenfeld’s
Songs of Labor
, in a translation by Rose Pastor
Stokes and Helena Frank.
The interest in Yiddish literature was undiminished throughout
the 1920’s, with Pinski still holding the center of attention with
more translations by Isaac Goldberg. In 1920, his
Ten Plays from
the Yiddish
were published. These are mostly one-act plays,
reflecting the shock of the war years and the profound dissillusion-
ment of the following period. They were followed by
King David
and His Wives
(1923), a biblical play. In 1928, appeared the
translation of Pinski’s novel,
Arnold Levenberg
, dealing with Jewish
life in America.
Yiddish drama was gaining friends in the United States. In
1921 was published Peretz Hirshbein’s
The Haunted Inn
, trans-
lated by Isaac Goldberg, a play of rural life among the Jews in
imperial Russia. E tta Block edited in 1923 a series of
One Act
Plays from the Yiddish
, including Peretz’ “Champagne,” J. L.
Halpern’s “Mother and Son,” Peretz Hirshbein’s “The Snow-
storm” and “Where the Dew Falleth,” and Marc Arnstein’s
“The Eternal Song.” A second series came in 1929, containing
Peretz Hirshbein’s “Bebele,” “Lone Worlds,” Abraham Reisen’s
“Brothers,” F. Bimko’s “Liars,” I. L. Peretz’ “On an Early
Morning,” “After the Funeral” and “The Sisters.”
Sholem Asch was represented by
Uncle Moses
(1920, translated
by Elsa Krauch), a novel of success in America and of the mellow-
ing influences of love on a hardened character.
In the nineteen twenties interest was keen in the recent past
of the Jewish people, particularly that of the Jewish communities
in Eastern Europe. A picture of life in the Pale of Settlement
was presented to the English reader by Angelo S. Rappoport in