Page 85 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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vein, was offered in Sholem Aleykhem’s
The Old Country
translated by Julius and Frances Butwin and
Inside Kasrilevke
(1948), translated by Isidore Goldstick. Of a similar mood is Sam
In Spite of Tears
(1946), a collection of humorous short
stories and other pieces about life in New York rendered into
English by S. P. Rudens.
In her
Burning Lights
(1946), Bella Chagall attempted to recall
the spirit and the atmosphere of her home in White Russia.
The translation was done by Norbert Guterman.
The recent catastrophe is reflected in Jankiel Wiernik’s
A Year
in Treblinka
(1944), Mary Berg’s
Warsaw Ghetto
(1945), translated
by Norbert Guterman and Sylvia Glass, Hertz Bergner’s
Sky and Sea
(1946), translated by J. L. Waten, Jacob Pa t’s
and Fire
(1948), translated by Leo Steinberg and S. L. Shneider-
Between Fear and Hope
(1947), translated by Norbert
A new departure is found in Sol Liptzin’s
(1947), first
volume of the Yivo Bilingual Series, a collection of stories and
essays in the original and English translation on facing pages.
A summary of translations from Yiddish literature points to
the urgent need of greater representativeness. While contem-
porary writers such as Sholem Asch and I. J. Singer are compara-
tively well represented in English, the major portion of the works
of the Yiddish classics remains inaccessible to the English reader.
Only one of the voluminous works of Mendele Moykher Sforim,
the grandfather of Yiddish literature as he was popularly called,
is available in English. Not a single work of the pre-classical
period in modern Yiddish literature has been rendered into English.
Moreover, Yiddish literature possesses a considerable body of
poetry of real distinction. This poetry, too, to a very large degree,
is still waiting for the hand of the master to reveal its beauty and
richness to the English reader. Yiddish literature also boasts of a
number of essayists of singular merit whose works remain totally
unknown to the English reading public. Justice to Yiddish liter-
ature and fairness to the English reader who wants to become
acquainted with the life depicted in that literature demand that
the aforementioned deficiencies be speedily supplied.