Page 83 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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NOBLE ----MODERN YIDDISH LITERATURE
71
over force. In 1935, appeared
In The Beginning
, in which the
author retells the biblical stories of the book of Genesis.
The
War Goes On
(1936) gives a picture of the disintegrative forces
resulting from World War I — the inflation, economic dislocation
— in their effect upon the Jewish and non-Jewish middle class in
Europe. We see the rise of that social and spiritual malady in
Germany that was to bring the world to the brink of disaster.
The above four works were translated by Willa and Edwin Muir.
The Three Novels
(1938), translated by Elsa Krauch, includes in
addition to the aforementioned
Uncle Moses
, “Khayim Lederer’s
Return” and “Judge Not,” all dealing with the adjustment
problem of the recent arrivals in this country. The same year saw
the appearance of
The Song of the Valley
, translated by Elsa
Krauch, an enthusiastic account of the achievements of modern
Palestine. In
The Nazarene
(1939), translated by Maurice Samuel,
we have a poetic version of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Yiddish drama retained its hold upon the reader in that
decade, and 1932 was a banner year. That year saw the publica-
tion of Pinski’s
Cripples
, a comedy of beggars struggling for
a desirable place at a church entrance;
Dollars
, a comedy of
actors and theatre people;
Forgotten Souls
, a tragedy of poor
and lonely working girls, all three in the translation of Isaac
Goldberg. In the same year also appeared Bessie F. White’s
Nine One Act Flays from the Yiddish
, containing Leivick’s “The
Golem” (the first two scenes), Jacob Gordin’s “Captain Dreyfus,”
Z. Levin’s “The Doctor’s First Operation,” Samuel Daixel’s
“After Midnight,” Peretz’ “The Sewing of the Wedding Gown,”
I. D. Berkowitz’ “Landsleit,” Z. Libin’s “Colleagues,” Pinski’s
“Sorrows,” and Sholem Aleykhem’s “Gymnazie.”
NOVELS BY I. J . SINGER
The previous year, Pinski’s novel,
Generations of Noah Edon
,
appeared in English, without mentioning the translator’s name.
I t is the story of a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant in America, his
three sons and grandchildren.
In the field of the novel, several other Yiddish writers made
their appearance in the 1930’s. In 1933, was published I. J.
Singer’s
The Sinner
(“Yoshe Kalb” in the original), a story of
temptation and religious ardor. This work was followed by
The
Brothers Ashkenazi
(1936), an account of a century of Jewish life
in Eastern Europe as seen in the rise and fall of a middle-class
Jewish family;
The River Breaks Up
(1938), a collection of short
stories about Jewish life in Poland (one story deals with America);
East of Eden
(1939), a novel about a Jewish proletarian in Poland,