The Stories of David Bergelson: Yiddish Short Fiction from Russia

The Stories of David Bergelson: Yiddish Short Fiction from Russia

The Stories of David Bergelson: Yiddish Short Fiction from Russia

The Stories of David Bergelson: Yiddish Short Fiction from Russia

Synopsis

"The writings of David Bergelson - virtually unknown to readers in the United States - are now available in this exciting collection Composed of two short stories and a novella, this volume brings to life Bergelson's rich, elegiac prose. Golda Werman's highly literate translation perfectly captures his elusive literary style. Bergelson's writings evoke the declining world of small-town Eastern European Jews. His world captures the dreariness of the uncommitted life. His characters are cast adrift in a society whose traditions are coming unhinged by powerful modernist forces. In her Introduction Werman offers readers an engaging and tragic portrait of Bergelson, who was arrested on orders from Stalin and died in a prison camp in 1952." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Aharon Appelfeld

David Bergelson is the most important Yiddish writer, following the three classical authors who established modern Yiddish literature: Mendele Mocher Sforim, I. L. Peretz, and Sholem Aleichem. His belief in communism, his voluntary return to Russia, and his subservience to the literary dictates of the Revolution eventually flawed his later writings. Despite this, the totality of his creative output has withstood the test of time, especially the works he wrote before his enslavement to communism.

The reader interested in learning about the transition from the typical-general to the personal-individual in Yiddish literature will do well to turn to the stories of Bergelson. In them there is an entire universe waiting to be uncovered. Bergelson paved new roads in Yiddish literature and brought it into the modern age.

A small sample of Bergelson's writings has previously been translated into English, but these translations cannot be compared to what the translator Golda Werman has now done. Ms. Werman has selected the richest and the most . . .

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