Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yiddish Literature and World Literature in Yiddish

A selection of Yiddish literary works and translations of world literature into Yiddish along with a few scholarly items.

Tsaytshrift = Zeitschrift = Chasopis. Bukh I. Minsk, Institut far vaysruslendisher kultur, yidisher sektor.; Institut belaruskae kulturi jaurejski sektar.; Institut fur weissruthenische Kultur. judische Sektor, 1926-1931. Quarto, green cloth with gold lettering, front endpaper cracked at the hinge, 277 pp., a few b/w illustrations, mildly yellowed paper  German language precis' of the articles at the rear. Hardbound. Very Good-. Text is in Yiddish except as noted. Articles are "Tsu der Sotsyaler Geshikhte fun Yidn in Vaysrusland," Y. Sosis, "Di Yidishe Balmelokhes un Rusland in der Ershter Helft fun 19-tn Yor Hundert," S. Rombakh, "Di Sotsyale Farheltenishn un di Sotsyale Bavegung in Folk Yisroel," M.A. Lurye, "Neyste Shtremungen in der Biblisher Visnshaft," N.M. Nikolay, "Peretses "Shtet un Shtetlekh,"" Oyslender, N., "Der Itstiker Tsushtand fun Peretses Byografye," Gurshteyn, A., "Sotsyale Figuren in A. Goldfaden Ershte Verk," Uri Finkel, "Bamerkungen Vegn Poetishn Shteyger fun Yidishn Folklid," Y. Goldberg, "Folklor-Zamlung," Z. Khrafkovsky, "'Der kop' in Yidish," Kh. Spivak, "A Geshikhte Yidishee Bibliotek in a Yidish Hoyz in Venetsye in mitn Zekhstn Yorhundert," N. Shtif, "A Yidish Lid Vegen Shabtai Tsvi fun Yor 1666," Max Weinreich, "Bletlekh tsu der Geshikhte fun der Elterer Yidish Literatur," Max Erik, Vegn Yidishe Dialektn," M. Weinger, "Der Leksikon fun Mener-Shneyderey," B. Slutzky, "Treybn: A Leksikalisher Etyud," M. Weinreich, with a section of short contributions, "Miteylungen un Materialen."
        The most important Soviet scholarly literary journal in Yiddish. The first of three issues. (66575)      $100.00

Falikman, Y[ehiel]. Mentshn fun mayn land: dertseylungen. Moscow, Ogiz, Melukhe-Farlag "Der Emes", 1945. Octavo, paper covers, 168 pp. Softbound. Very Good. Text is in Yiddish in the Soviet Orthography. Falikman was a somewhat straight-ahead Soviet author. Early on he spent a little time on the Birobidzhan. He did write on the Holocaust to the extent that it was possible within the Soviet system. His novels published in Yiddish up through 1953. He continued to appear in Yiddish periodicals after the Thaw and Russian translations of his novels also appeared in that period. His support for the Soviet anti-Zionist campaign in the post 1967 era is indicative of his accession to the Soviet system.  (45638)      $45.00

Leivick, H. Der Golem: Dramatishe Poeme in Akht Bilder. Warsaw, Farlag Kultur-Lige, 1922. Octavo, olive cloth spine, soiled black cloth covered boards, 234 pp. Yellowed paper. Hardbound. Good. Text is in Yiddish. OCLC Number: 24053096. The second edition. The first European edition. (66597)      $75.00

Perets, Yitshak Leyb [Isaac leib Peretz], edited by. Perets's bletlikh: Zshurnal fir literatur gezellshaft un ekonomye. 2ter Band. Warsaw, Ferlag fun Y. Lidsky Bukhhendler, 1903. Octavo, worn green cloth spine, soiled printed paper panel on the front board, 248 pp. Hardbound. Good. In Yiddish. OCLC Number: 56962519. (65994)      $60.00

Pinsky, S[hammai ]. Halutsim. London, Aroysgegeben fun dem hoyfbyuro fun'm Keren ha-yesod, 1922. Octavo, stapled paper covers with wear along the spine and light soiling, 32 pp. Softbound. Good. Text is in Yiddish. An active Zionist who eventually made aliyah in his twilight years. (66579)      $35.00

Pintshevski, Mosheh. Tsveyt: lider. Buenos Aires, 1918. Octavo, soiled light blue cloth spine, illustrated paper covered boards with a vignette photo of the author, 132 pp., with some weakness to the hinges and general looseness, wear to the edges of a few of the pages.  Hardbound. Good. One of the first twenty-five books published in Yiddish in Argentina. The first Yiddish book published in Argentina was 'Estatuten fun der aktsyen gezelshaft" from the Fondo Komunal" fun Kolonye Klara. There were some pieces of music and periodicals that preceded this work. (66555)      $75.00

Ran, Leyzer, compiled by. Di legende Perets. Perets Yoyvl Yor Proklamirt durkhn Alveltlekhn Yidishn Kultur Kongres. 1852-1952 100 Yoriker Geboyrntog, 1875-1951 75 Yor - Areyntrit in der Literatur/ La Leyenda Peretz: Publicacion especial en conmemoracion del Centenario de nacimento del clasico de la literatura Judia, Icjok Leibush Peretz y 75o. Aniversario de su primera publiccion literaria. Havana, Cuba, Aroysgegebn fun kultur rat baym Yidish tsenter, 1951-1952. Octavo, paper covers, with minor wear and sunning, 52, xxiv pp., a few b/w photos. The cover is illustrated with a micro-graphic drawing of Peretz.  Softbound. Very Good-. Text is in Yiddish with a Spanish language section at the rear. Havana was host to a population of at least 15,000 before the fall of Bautista. Around one hundred separate items were published in Yiddish in Cuba. There are held lightly in general. Like Berlin's Yiddish publications, Havana's are worth further study. (58006)      $75.00

Vendrof, N [Zalman Wendroff]. Friher un shpeter. Warsaw, Familyen-bibliyotek, Between 1909 and 1912. Duodecimo, stapled paper covers, 20 pp., yellowed paper. Softbound. Good. In Yiddish. Juvenalia by one of the best Soviet Yiddish story-tellers. Wendroff who became a successful writer in the Soviet era when he was able to avoid the authorities and the gulag. His last book published before his death came at the twilight of the thaw period. Proof of his popularity can be found in the 1980 publication of another of his novels in Moscow in 1980. (66580)      $45.00


Bellamy, E. In hundert Yohr Arom. Warsaw, Ferlag "Progres", 1906. Small octavo, black  cloth with faded gold lettering, 207 pp., yellowed paper. Hardbound. Very Good. Translated into Yiddish by David Druk. Bellamy was an American socialist and novelist. Looking Backward 2000-1887, was originally published in 1888. It was one of the most successful novels of the Nineteenth Century and inspired a group of "Nationalist Clubs," with the goal of achieving some of the achievements that Bellamy had projected. In hundert Yohr Arom is one of the only works of speculative fiction to appear in Yiddish with the exception of the multi-volume set of Jules Verne works. (66608)      $35.00

D'Annunzio, Gabriele [Singer, Isaac Bashevis]. In opgrunt fun tayve: (roman). Warsaw, Farlag M. Goldfarb, 1929. Small octavo, purple cloth with gold lettering, 264 pp., hinges cracking at the gutters, mildly yellowed paper. Hardbound. Good. Translated into Yiddish by "Y. Bashevis [Isaac Bashevis Singer]." Item C3 in Miller's Bashevis Bibliography. A translation of the novel Il Piacere (Pleasure), 1884. Miller believes Singer based his translation on an earlier translation from Italian into German by Maris Gagliardi in 1920. D' Annunzio was an unusual character. Of noble birth and endowed with talent from his earliest days D'Annunzio's style was both mystical and decadent. He was an extreme Italian Nationalist and an inspiration in part for Mussolini's brand of Fascism. Singer also translated Knut Hamsun, another talented author who eventually found a home in fascism. An odd coincidence of history. Uncommon. (45579)      $250.00

Doroshevich, V. M. Der knut, oder, A hesped nokh der nagayke. Vilna, Ferlag 'Internatsionale bibliothek', 1906. 16mo, stapled paper covers, 15, ii pp., ads, yellowed paper. Softbound. Very Good-. Translated from the original Russian into Yiddish. Uncommon. Doroshevich wrote about Sakhalin and the Russian Far East. He was a successful and popular journalist. He was the product of a marriage between an heiress to a wealthy family and poor writer. She was disinherited because of the marriage. Doroshevich spent some time as a manual laborer early on and identified with the masses. He approved of the Bolshevik revolution and was considered on the right side of it. (66606)     $50.00

Glazer, Leon S. Fun Moskve biz Yerushalayim (Di Moral Shtarbt) A Lebns-Bashraybung fun a Revolutsyoner/ From Moscow to Jerusalem: The Moral Perishes. Life-Story. New York, Max Jankowitz, 1938. Second Printing. Octavo in chipped and torn dust jacket, 215 pp., b/w photos. Hardbound. Very Good. Translated into Yiddish from the German by Isaac Singer. Number C11 in Miller's Isaac Bashevis Singer bibliography. The last Singer translation of another person's work. With a lengthy inscription in Yiddish by the author on the half-title page. (44264)      $150.00

Kollontai, A[lexandra]. Fraye libe: roman (fun lebn in Rotn-Rusland). Warsaw, Farlag Shelomoh Tsuker, 1929. Duodecimo, dustly green cloth with gold lettering (spine lettering faded), frontispiece photo, 238 pp., yellowed paper. Hardbound. Very Good-. Translated into Yiddish from the Russian by D. Bakhrakh. First published in Russian in 1925. Kollentai, once an influential Bolshevik, had by this time been side-lined into Ambassadorial duties. Although she is well known for her prominence as a Bolshevik and a supporter of women's rights she is less well known for her literary efforts. This work appeared in an English translation in 1932. (66560)      $75.00

Pushkin, Aleksandr Sergeevich. Poltave: poeme. Vilna, Vilner Farlag fun B.A. Kletskin, 1923. Small octavo, paper covers, soiling to the title page, 71 pp., yellowed paper. Softbound. Very Good-. Translated into Yiddish from the Russian by A. I. Grodzenski. OCLC Number:. 19306306. Many items published in Yiddish are rarely seen in the original condition and binding, yet that is precisely the condition that is most suitable and appealing when a library or museum wants to use their holdings as part of an exhibition (or, if they believe that their collection represents, "a National Bibliography"). (66591)      $50.00

Zola, Emile. Nantas, oder, Der gekoyfter man: a realistishes lebensbild. New York, Hebrew Publishing Co., 1925. Octavo, paper covers with a short tear from the top of the spine, mildly rumpled front cover, 92 pp. Softbound. Good. Translated into Yiddish by D. M. Hermalin. An uncommon title. Zola was a popular author with the Yiddish reading public and this is one of many tiles translated into Yiddish by Hermalin and others in the period before the First World War.
       The address and other publication is covered over on the front cover with a booksellers label. Text reads "I. Fricklas/ Manufacturer of/ Finest Gold and Silver Embroidery/ Hebrew Books and Thalaisem a Specialty/ 97 Rivington St., New York/ Telephone, Orchard 4735." Although booksellers are now either pitied, dismissed or reviled they were once vital figures in the dissemination of culture and in the Jewish community of learning. There have been one or two booksellers featured in Yiddish literature. Knowledge of the history of Jewish bookselling is one of the blind-spots in the history of how Jewish culture was spread. Labels like these and even more modest labels are one of the few remaining clues we have to fill in this puzzle. (66590)     $60.00

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Secular Jewish Culture's many Yiddish faces

A selection of books discussing the many types of Jewish activism, ideology and interest in the first part of the last century. This selection leans towards the doctrinal rather than the purely social. (Subsequent posts will focus on some literature and social activities).

Farnberg, K. Der Shtutgarter kongres un zayne problemen. Ershter Heft. [First and only.]. Vilna, Bikherferlag "Tsukunft", [1908]. Duodecimo, delicate paper covers with slight chipping to the rear panel, 45 pp. Softbound. Very Good-. In vocalized Yiddish. A record of the International Socialist Congress, the Seventh Congress of the Second International, held in Stuttgart from 18 to 24 August, 1907. (66565)      $45.00

"Loz Got zayn vorhaftik". ["Let God Be True."]. Brooklyn, New York, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, International Bible Students Association, 1949. First Yiddish language edition. Duodecimo, green paper covers with gold lettering, rubbing to the spine edges, 320 pp., indexes. Hardbound. Good. Translated into Yiddish from the First Edition in English, 1929.
     This is one of several publications in Yiddish from the Millenarian cult/religion, the "Jehovah's Witnesses." The Jehovah's Witnesses view themselves as doctrinally close to the Christianity of the first century. The church coalesced around a group led by Charles Taze Russell in 1870. The first Millenarian prediction was set for 1914. The most recent date that came into prominence was 1975. There is a habit of trying to destroy Jehovah's Witness publication that are reminder of past failed prediction. The church became more cult-like under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford. It was in the period of his leadership that the outreach outside the US and to non-English speaking prospects began. As the church is based in Brooklyn, Yiddish must have seemed like a logical linguistic choice for the Church Elders and they were not without some success in the Jewish community. Since the disappointment of 1975 the church has become less internally authoritarian. Adherents now number over ten million internationally. Paradoxically, their defense of their beliefs in the American courts and the courts of Canada, Germany, India, Japan, the Philippines, Russia and most recently, the  European Court of Human Rights have done much to strengthen the religious and free speech rights of all members of the nations that they have succeeded in.
     Church members are pacifistic, refuse blood transfusions and many other medical procedures and believe that the saluting of National flags is a form of idolatry. This has cause them to be persecuted at times. Under the Nazi regime over a thousand of the 10,000 Witnesses interned died. About 250 of those were executed. The camp identification of the Witnesses was a purple triangle flat at the top and with the point down. Witnesses have also experienced particularly harsh treatment in the Soviet Union, and Canada.
     The Jehovah's Witness' seem like an unlikely group to focus on Yiddish speakers. It should be remembered that they have been had a large facility in Brooklyn visible from the Brooklyn Bridge. Their efforts did bear some fruit. In particular, one of the most well known of the scholar rabbis of the Jewish Theological Seminary abided with his wife, a convert to the Witness' faith. These Yiddish edition of Jehovah's Witness publication are often in the collections of Jewish libraries without any understanding of their actual nature where they are misfiled in with various other works of Biblical interpretation and commentary. They do belong in Jewish libraries, but in the correct locations. (66562)     $75.00

Borochov, Ber. Di Idishe arbeter bavegung in tsifern. Berlin, Aroysgegebn fun'm fareynigtn Borokhov-komitet: Farlag Ostertog, 1923. Small octavo, red cloth with black lettering, minor sunning to the spine and with mild wear at the spine ends, tables, errata sheet laid-in at the rear, yellowed paper. Hardbound. Very Good-. Text is in Yiddish. Yiddish language publishing flourished in Germany, primarily Berlin, in the period for the Nazi rise to power. While these Yiddish works published in Germany are not as uncommon as those published in this period in Argentina and the Netherlands, for instance, they are still not thoroughly explored.
       Borochov requires less introduction. Borochov combined Socialism and Zionism and became an early proponent of Labor Zionism. He died in 1917. The period dealt with in this work is from 1900-1903/4. (66559)      $50.00

Zhitlowsky, Chaim. Di asimilatsye: vos zi zogt tsu un vos zi git. Vienna, Ferlag naye velt, 1914. Small octavo, dark green cloth with white spine lettering, 40 pp., yellowed paper. Hardbound. Very Good. Text is in Yiddish. Uncommon. Now an obscure figure Zhitlowsky was a towering figure in his own time. As a young man he was associated with the Zemlya i Volya movement. Presciently, he advocated for a Jewish section with the movement, hinting at the Labor Bund founded in 1897. He was a theorist of Yiddishkeit and Jewish secularism. Assimilation was a natural concern for him. (66602)      $60.00

Kautsky, Karl. Dos Erfurter program: etyudn fun politishe ekonomye. Warsaw, Faralg "Di Velt", 1906. Small octavo, half black cloth with mildly worn marbled paper covered boards, 280, ix pp., yellowed paper. Appears to have originally been published in parts. Hardbound. Very Good-. Text is in Yiddish. OCLC Number: 15715278. Kautsky was, along with Eduard Bernstein and August Bebel, the author of the Social Democratic Party of Germany platform in 1891. The focus of this platform was the work, through legal means, of improving the lives of the working class. Because they were convinced that Capitalism would collapse under its own weight they placed less emphasis on pushing towards revolution.They considered that to be an inevitability. This more pragmatic communism was more popular at the time than the more ideological communism of the Russian variety. For Jews of the time, largely a working class population, this sort of communism would have served well. (66599)      $75.00

Preil, Eleazar Meir. A hand bukh far di Idishe froy. New York, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 1920. Duodecimo, stapled paper covers with some soiling, 32 pp., a few illustrated head and tail pieces. Softbound. Good. Text is in Yiddish. A modern Orthodox version of what a Jewish woman needs to know. Written at a time when the American Orthodox community was coming to grips with strength of the secular impulse. (66571)      $30.00

Marx, Karl. Arbeytskraft un kapital. Warsaw, Printed by Druk "Ha-Tsefirah", 1905. Small octavo, red cloth with faded gold lettering, endpapers cracked at the hinges, 40, 23 pp., lightly yellowed paper. Hardbound. Good. Translated into Yiddish by M[ax] Weber. Bound with F[erdinand] Lassalle's "Vos iz Konstitutsye?" Translated into Yiddish by A. Goldberg. Warsaw, Ferlag Tseyt-bibliotek, 1905. (66569)      $45.00

Meyers, Isaac, edited by. Yehi'el A. Ravitsh: a zamlung fun opshatsungen un bagrisungen fun zayne fraynt/ Yechiel A. Ravitch: A Tribute from His Legion of Friends. January - 1949. Los Angeles, California, A Ravitch Testemonial Committee, 1949. Octavo, paper covers, 41, 49 pp., duotone illustrations, ads. Softbound. Very Good. In Yiddish and English. Ravitch was both an active Jewish communal worker and a Labor Zionist. (66314)      $40.00

Yunyon-Skver: Ershter Zamlbukh fun'm Farband fun Proletarishe Shreyber in Amerike ("Proletpen")/ Union Square: First Quarterly of the Union of Proletarian Yiddish Writers of America (Proletpen). New York, Proletpen, December, 1930. Octavo, illustrated paper covers with soiling and minor wear, 238 pp. Softbound. Good. In Yiddish. Cover illustrations by Yosl Cutler. (35567)      $50.00
Zhitlowsky, H., edited by. Dos Naye Leben: A Monatshrift. Ershter Band, Detsember, 1908 - November, 1909. Twelve issues. New York, Dos Naye Leben, 1908-1909. Octavo, worn and soiled black leather with gold lettering, black cloth covered boards, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66 pp. Retains the front paper cover bound in of the front cover of the first issue.  Hardbound. Good. Text is in Yiddish. One year of Zhitlowsky's journalist project. (68276)      $50.00

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A few Yiddish books with illustrations

A selection of Yiddish books with interesting illustrations. None are particularly rare, but all are interesting and essential.

Cutler, Yosel [Kotler, Yosl]. Muntergang/ Stories and Drawings. New York, Farlag Signal Proletaren, 1934. Tsvayte Oyflage (Koregirt.). Octavo, green cloth with black lettering, mildly soiled printed paper illustration over most of the front board, 192 pp., b/w drawings, glossary, mild soiling to the rear cover. Illustrations by Cutler throughout.  Hardbound. Very Good-. Text is in Yiddish. Cutler and Zuni Meod wrote and did props and backdrops for Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theater. They also had their own puppet theater for children. This volume is a collection of Proletarian and anti-religious poetry and fiction. The drawings and caricatures are quite sharp. At his best Cutler was a serious competitor for William Gropper. Cutler made Gropper seem like a middle-of-the-roader. A classic of Jewish humor. (562)      $40.00
The first illustration appears on the front cover and serves as the title page. The second image is the illustrator's ex-libris. The last is one of the illustrations from the body of the text. I selected this image in particular because of the similarity in subject matter to the sorts of subject matter that Gropper might have taken up for contrast. The central figure is reminiscent of Gropper, but the grotesque policeman uniquely Cutler's.

Magidoff, Jacob. Der shpigel fun der Ist Sayd/ The Mirrors of the East Side. New York, The Author, 1923. Octavo, soiled black cloth with red lettering, front endpaper soiled, 218 pp., b/w drawings by Saul Raskin. Hardbound. Good. Text is in Yiddish.  Magidoff was the editor of the Jewish Morning Journal for over forty years. This self-published work came out at the middle of his lengthy tenure. There are full page drawings of all eighteen Lower East Side political figures profiled here by Saul Raskin. Included are Abe Cahan, Morris Hillquit, Meir London and others of their ilk. Raskin, a now highly under-appreciated American Jewish artist was a powerful influence on the immigrant Jewish community on the first third of the 20th century. This aspect of Raskin's life involved journalist advocacy and very popular walking tours of New York's finer Art Museums. Raskin was a populist and a Zionist. He was very concerned with encouraging Jewish Art which he defined as art with Jewish cultural content. He was opposed by critics who were more interested in aesthetic issues than identity issues. Raskin was very active in journalistic caricature and comic illustrations for humor magazines. He is now largely remembered for his large format illustrated books (Hagada, Ani Ma'amin, Siddur, Pirke Avot, Land of Palestine, Personal Surrealism, etc.) This is an early non-journalistic forum for his art. (12321)      $40.00
This portrait of Abraham Cahan along with the others in this volume were popular enough to have been issued as postcards.

Raskin, Saul. Erets Yisroel in vort un bild: Indrike fun tsvey rayzes (1921-1924). New York, Reznick, Menshel un Co., 1925. First Edition. Octavo, tan cloth with black lettering, 318 pp., b/w drawings by the author. Chapter headings are also in the author's distinctive graphic style.  Hardbound. Very Good. Text is in Yiddish. Introduction by Reuben Breinin. Raskin's record of his travels to Mandate Palestine. The drawings are quite detailed but still small. It is quite clear that the larger formats that Raskin adopted in his later productions was already in his mind. (66598)      $40.00

This illustration is captioned, "Alt Yerushalayim, di gegend arum der 'Vand,' der kupel fun der Mosk Omar."

Weinstein, B. Bilder fun Yidishn Arbeter-Lebn in Amerike/ Sketches of the Life of Jewish Workers in America. New York, Dem Arbeter Ring Bildung-Department, 1935. Square octavo, red cloth with black lettering, spine worn and frayed, an illustrated paper panel over the front board, frontispiece drawing, b/w plates by Note Kozlovsky. Hardbound. Good-. Text is in Yiddish. Compiled and edited by Naftoli Gros. A children's book about Jewish labor history in America.  (57953)      $40.00
Above, a drawing by Kozlovsky of the author and a selected illustration from the volume captioned, "Oysvanderer -Mit zek un mit pek oyf di Playtses."