Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Israel London's Life and Work" by David Mazower

David Mazower has kindly allowed me to reprint his article on Israel London and the Marstin Press. I have been interested in the press and the man behind it for some time, but David got around to researching the subject long before I did. My own contribution to this subject can be found in the three part checklist where I have improved on David's foundation. (Parts One, Two and Three.)
Israel London's Life and Work by David Mazower

I. Discovering The Source -- the Yiddish publisher and printer Israel London (1898 - 1968) 

"What did it mean to [my father] to publish Yiddish books? It was the continuity of the Yiddish language, the Yiddish culture, the literary soul of Yiddish." (Alex London) 

In the pantheon of Yiddish creativity, alongside the celebrated novelists, poets and critics, a corner would surely have to be reserved for the Yiddish publishers and printers without whom so many important texts would never have appeared. Among those taking their rightful place would be Boris Kletskin, the legendary Vilna Yiddishist; L-.M. Shteyn, 
a tireless advocate for Chicago's modernist poets and artists; and Yisroel Naroditski, the scholarly patron of London's struggling Yiddish (and Hebrew) writers. [1] . Joining them would be another all but forgotten figure: the Yiddish publisher, printer and journalist Yisroel (Israel) London. 

As a publisher of Yiddish books, London's output was small, amounting to no more than a few dozen titles. However his distinction rests not upon quantity but rather upon the extraordinary care and craftsmanship he devoted to his books. In this respect, the series of fourteen volumes he published under the imprint Der kval ['the source; the wellspring'] in New York in the 1950s and 60s deserves particular attention. Written by some of the outstanding Jewish literary figures of the period, these books are also beautiful objects in their own right, distinguished by their attractive bindings, fine printing, and elegant typography. In addition, they showcased as illustrators many of the leading contemporary European and American Jewish artists. With Der Kval, Israel London set standards unmatched by any other commercial Yiddish publisher before or since. 

London was born in 1898 in the Polish shtetl of Hrubieszow, near Lublin. His father was a Hasidic scholar, his mother from a more worldly family involved in trade. One of at least seven children, the young London received a traditional Jewish education, and studied for a time in the yeshiva at Brisk. (His entry in the Nayer leksikon fun der yidisher literatur, presumably contributed by London himself, contains the wry sentence: "Veltlekhe limudim -- durkh aleyn-bildung," i.e. 'secular education -- self-taught'). [2] In 1914 London traveled half-way around the world to Argentina, where he worked as a proofreader on the Buenos Aires Yiddish newspaper Der tog, then edited by the writer Arn Tseytlin. However he soon returned to Poland and found work as a Yiddish journalist, starting as a newswriter on the Krakow paper Der tog. [3]

The turning-point in London's career seems to have been his move to Vienna in about 1916, where he studied printing in a technical college. [4] Vienna was then emerging as an important regional center of Yiddish literature, known in particular for a group of young Galician Yiddish writers and poets centered around the influential figure of Melekh Ravitsh. Their ranks included the writers Moyshe Gros-Tsimerman, Moyshe Zilburg, and Mendl Zinger. London worked for a time in the (mainly Yiddish) publishing firm of Hikl-farlag before joining forces with the Ravitsh group to found the Vienna Yiddish publisher Der kval. Active for about five years from 1919 in Vienna and Berlin, it published a series of volumes of poetry and literary criticism. [5] The name Der kval was presumably suggested by one of their first ventures, a series of five studies of Yiddish literature's founding fathers -- Mendele, Sholem-Aleykhem, Perets, Frug and Dinezon. The Vienna-born artist Uriel Birnbaum,
son of Nathan Birnbaum [alias Mathias Acher], designed the company's logo, a stylized image of a waterfall cascading into a pool -- the same logo used by Israel London almost three decades later when he revived the imprint in Manhattan. [6] At about this time, London spent some months in Berlin, helping the scholar Lazarus Goldschmidt to bring out his monumental Hebrew-German edition of the Talmud. [7]
In about 1921, London arrived in Paris, the city that would be his home for the next two decades. Initially he found work as a writer and journalist for the French Yiddish press. He published stories in Parizer bleter, and was employed by the newspapers Parizer haynt and Der tog. [8] By the 1930s, London was running his own printing business, the Imprimerie Centrale Cooperative in the 9th arrondissement. [9] In Paris he married a fellow Polish-Jewish emigre, Gitl Slobodskaya. Originally from Vilna, she came from a family accomplished in Jewish learning and the arts: the daughter of a cantor, she herself had been a teacher in the Yiddish school system in Vilna. (Another sister was the well-known opera singer Oda Slobodskaya). Their son Alex was born in Paris in 1930. 

During the 1930s, London's publishing and printing business issued a wide range of books and other Yiddish publications. They include what is almost certainly the first comprehensive Yiddish guidebook to Paris, with a fine cover montage by the Polish-born artist (and prolific illustrator of Yiddish books) M. Bahelfer. There was also a short-lived weekly newspaper, Pariz, to which London himself contributed. And, indicating the esteem in which he was held by colleagues, London was entrusted with the printing of one of the most ambitious projects in the entire history of Yiddish scholarship -- the multi-volume general encyclopedia for Yiddish readers, conceived and developed by the Dubnov Foundation in the early 1930s. Beset by travails well before the Holocaust destroyed the majority of its potential readers, the Algemeyne entsiklopedye nevertheless stands as a monumental achievement. [10] Israel London printed the first four volumes, published in Paris between 1934 and 1937. In 1950 in New York, when the project had switched from a general reference work to one focused specifically on Jewish life, London printed the well-illustrated Yidn daled volume. (The encyclopedia project counted five general and seven "Yidn" volumes). 

From his earliest days in Paris, London was drawn into the vibrant and cosmopolitan Paris art world, centered around Montparnasse. A keen art lover, he wrote on painting and sculpture, and became close to many of the leading figures of the extraordinary constellation of Jewish emigre artists now known under the label School of Paris. "You name a Jewish artist in Paris and he knew them," his son recalls, "because they were always together. Either he bought them lunch, or he bought them breakfast. In those days you sat in the cafes in Montparnasse where many of the artists used to live, many Jewish immigrants from Russia or Poland or Rumania. You have Kremegne, and Feder, and Menkes, and Mane-Katz, Soutine ...there was a whole group of Yiddish painters, as well as writers." [11] 

The London family home was located in the heart of this artistic community. Their fifth-floor apartment at 114 Boulevard Montparnasse was right opposite the Cafe du Dome, the unofficial headquarters of the city's intellectual and artistic life. London was now well-placed to pursue one of his other passions -- the accumulation of a collection of art by his Parisian friends and contemporaries. One of the paintings in his collection (by the Lithuanian Jewish artist Arbit Blatas, a close friend [12] ) shows him in the company of the artists Soutine, Kikoine and Kremegne, and the critics Adolph Basler and Chil Aronson,AskART Artist 
 in the Cafe du Dome. Eventually amounting to over two hundred works, London's collection of School of Paris art would become one of the finest in private hands. It included paintings and sculpture by Chagall, Leger, Kisling, Pascin, Mane-Katz, Jacques Lipchitz and Osip Zadkine -- many of whom were lifelong friends of London. In 1961 the collection was given a special exhibition at New York's Jewish Museum, the first (and only) time it was put on public display. [13] 

By the late 1930s, London's business affairs were prospering. "My father was expanding right before the war" according to his son Alex, "he almost got into a very large printing plant in Strasbourg, with big rotary presses, and they were going to merge." [14] But with the German defeat of France in 1940, followed by the Nazi occupation, survival became the only thing that mattered. London remained in Paris until 1941, then managed to get himself and his family to Marseille. Unable to get permission to enter the United States, he was briefly put under house-arrest in the small town of Uzerche, before finally succeeding in obtaining visas for himself and his family to go to Cuba. After an overland journey through Spain and Portugal, they boarded a converted banana boat in Lisbon and traveled by way of Casablanca, the Azores and Bermuda. 

In Havana London opened a store selling industrial thread for the clothing industry. He also wrote articles for the local Yiddish newspaper, Havaner lebn, and involved himself in the communal affairs of the local Jewish community, swollen by the exodus of refugees from Europe. In 1943, he finally got permission to enter the United States. 

Within months of his arrival, London had set himself up in business in New York. "He found someone who was selling a printing plant" his son Alex remembers, "and my father made a deal. I don't know how he did it, but he was a very brilliant character, he really was, and he was able to buy it with almost no money." [15] The company that London took over in 1944 was called the Marstin Press, located at 228 E 45 St between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. It was in the heart of Manhattan's old printing district, an area full of newspaper presses, printers, typographers, and engravers. 

Over the next twenty-five years, Israel London built up the Marstin Press into a successful medium-size commercial printer, employing up to a dozen staff. The bulk of his work was English-language printing, with the United Nations a long-standing client. But from the earliest months, Yiddish printing also came his way. The first Yiddish book printed by the Marstin Press in New York appears to have been Amerike in der yidisher literatur [America in Yiddish Literature], a volume of essays by his near-contemporary Yitskhok-Elkhonen Rontsh [Isaac E. Rontch] (1899 - 1985), published in 1945. London soon established a reputation for printing high-quality illustrated Yiddish books; in 1949 the Marstin Press printed Yoysef Rubinshteyn's Nakht oyf nalevkes and Nokhem Bomze's A khasene in harbst, with its delicate sinuous line drawings by Yude Tofel [Jehuda (Jennings) Tofel]. Both books already show key elements of London's later trademark Yiddish imprints: the two-tone covers, boldly embossed spines, and clear, unfussy, spacious layouts. 

Like Kletskin and L.-M.Shteyn, Israel London was a passionate and serious enthusiast for Yiddish literature. He was also a lover of poetry, and numbered among his friends many of the leading Yiddish poets. The artist and Yiddish writer Yoni Fayn remembers how "Izzie London invited us to a Peysekh seder and (Yankev) Glatshteyn was there, and (Itsik) Manger, and others....he understood poetry and he was ready always to help a poet with publishing, gratis, their books." [16] 

Alex London also recalls how "my parents and the Glatshteyns rented jointly a house in Seagate, a small community where a lot of writers used to go....and I remember Mani-Leyb very well -- we stayed with him in the summer a few times; (Mordekhay) Shtrigler came here during the war, and Yankev Pat...and Shnayderman was here all the time with his wife...this house, it was a salon kind of experience." [17] A gregarious and extrovert character, with a penchant for dressing in bright primary colours, London would also preside over regular evening gatherings at Manhattan's Russian Tea Rooms, next to Carnegie Hall. There, Halina Shnayderman told me "he had his regular corner and he liked to have around him painters and writers and he treated everybody." [18] The artist and silversmith Ilya Shor 
 Ilya Schor Working 1940s.jpg 
was another close friend; in addition to designing London's own ex libris bookplate, he also made him a large ring, and a pair of heavy gold cuff-links, one featuring a klezmer clarinettist, the other a fiddler. 

This circle of Yiddish-speaking immigrant-intellectuals, almost all from Poland and linked by common memories of pre-war Europe, was central to London's Yiddish publishing ventures of the 1950s and 60s. In 1954 he issued two luxurious volumes, both written by friends of his: Yitskhok Berliner's Gezang fun mentsh, and Hirsh Rozenfeld's translation of the Finnish folk epic Kalevala [see The Mendele Review, vol.1, no. 008]. It is inconceivable that either publication could have been a commercial proposition, especially in view of the lavish treatment they received from London. Berliner's poems were printed on heavy cartridge paper in a two-tone yellow and blue cover with matching blue page edges. The recently-arrived Polish Jewish artist Yoni Fayn was commissioned by London to produce a title-page drawing and chapter headings using a variety of stylized alphabets inspired by the poems. Kalevala is an even more intricate production. The book is bound in brown and cream cloth with bottle-green endpapers and purple page edgings. The text is cleanly arranged in double columns with clear headings, enhanced by drawings from Khayim Gros (Chaim Gross), 
Leo Mikhelson and Y. Shlos and additional calligraphy by Alex London. Both authors end their introductory remarks with heartfelt words of thanks for London's efforts, summed up in Rozenfeld's words: "Gants bazonders vil ikh danken mayn fraynd yisroel london far zayn zorg un mi aroystsugebn dos bukh azoy vunderlekh sheyn." ('In particular I want to thank my friend Israel London for all his devotion and hard work in making sure that this book appears in such a wonderfully beautiful edition'). [19] 

Israel London's mission in reviving the imprint Der kval was summed up by one of his favourite sayings: "Vos iz kinstlerishe literatur on kinstlerishn druk un vos iz sheyner druk on hoykh-kinstlerisher literatur?" ['What's the use of artistic literature without high-quality publishing, and what's the use of fine publishing without high-quality literature?'] [20] The fourteen books published by Der kval between 1956 and 1966 are remarkable on both counts. In terms of literary merit, the series begins with Bashevis' famed memoir Mayn tatns bezdn shtub [My Fathers Court]. The list is also notable for three of the most important translation projects in modern Yiddish literature: Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, translated by Meyer Shtiker; A Simple Story by the Hebrew Nobel Prize Laureate S.J.Agnon -- the first of his books to be translated into Yiddish; and Kafka's The Trial, translated by Meylekh Ravitsh. There are also significant collections by some of the leading contemporary Yiddish poets, including Glatshteyn, Leyvik, Leyeles and Sutskever. 

Most of the volumes in the series are also embellished with specially-commissioned illustrated and other decorative elements. Perhaps the most remarkable graphics are the four full-page illustrated by Leonard Baskin for The Old Man and the Sea, a book that won an award from the New York Printing Association. Two close friends from the Paris years also produced some of their finest work in this medium for London: Artur Kolnik's series of intricate woodcuts for the Sutskever volume, and Ben's semi-abstract and metaphysical drawings to accompany Leyvik's poems. Also outstanding are Moses Soyer's [photo below] watercolours for Shtiker's slim volume of poetry,
and the expressionist painter Binyomin Kopman's series of yellow pastel and grey wash illustrations to Glatshteyn's book -- the only Der kval volume illustrated in colour. The other particularly noteworthy graphic feature in many of the volumes is their bold use of Yiddish calligraphy on front covers, title-pages and chapter headings. Some of these are clearly the work of the main illustrators, e.g. Kopman's lettering for the Glatshteyn volume, and that of Baskin (a noted calligrapher) for the Hemingway book. In other cases, the artist is unacknowledged, e.g. the superb title-page for Khayem Hazaz's novel Der taykh geyt [The River Flows]

Complementing his positions as literary and artistic editor of the series, London's final contribution to Der kval was his role of publisher / technical director and his insistence on the highest standards of design, printing and binding. There are all the hallmarks of London's earlier books: the thick paper with brightly-colored edges, the use of contrasting type fonts, the clear page lay-outs, and prominent use of page numerals. Once again, too, London's trademark colored bindings are much in evidence: red, black and gold for Leyvik; blue, green, red and gold for Glatshteyn; brown, cream, red and gold for Sutskever, and so on. Finally, all the books were given a transparent glassine cover to protect the binding from wear.

London's pride in his craftsmanship is evident in the meticulous way he records the size of many of the editions: The Old Man and the Sea, for example, was published in an edition of 1,005 copies. As each volume went to press, he would also print a handful of copies on deluxe paper which were then specially bound for his personal use; to the best of my knowledge, none of these copies was ever made available for sale. [21] 

In a short survey such as this, it is impossible to dwell on other aspects of London's involvement in Jewish communal affairs. (He was, for example, the host of a weekly Yiddish radio program on WEVD, in which he interviewed many of the Yiddish writers whose books he published, including Bashevis and Manger.) But it is for his five decades as a Yiddish printer and publisher that he would surely wish -- and deserves -- to be remembered. The crowning achievement of this remarkable career was undoubtedly the series of books published under the label Der kval in the 1950s and 60s. Like many of the best publishing endeavors, they reflect one individual's personal vision and passions -- for Yiddish literature, art and design, and for books as beautiful objects in their own right. In a field where readers traditionally expected little by way of aesthetic appeal, the books of Israel London are instantly recognizable, lending a unique dignity to the Yiddish printed word and constituting a glorious chapter (and, sadly, perhaps a closing one) in the history of modern Yiddish book publishing. Acknowledgements I am especially grateful to Alexander London and Dorothy London who welcomed me into their home and patiently answered all my questions. I also had the pleasure of lengthy phone conversations with Yoni Fayn and Halina Shnayderman [Shneiderman]. Thanks also to the staff of the YIVO Institute and the National Yiddish Book Center. The idea of researching Israel London's Yiddish publishing career was suggested by Leonard Prager, a wellspring of ideas and inspiration in his own right. 


1. On Naroditski (born Zhitomir, 1874; died London, 1942), see Sanders and Aptroot: Jewish Books in Whitechapel / A Bibliography of Narodiczky's Press (London, Duckworth, 1991). On L.-M.Shteyn [Stein], pseudonym of Yitskhok-Leyb Fradkin (born Berislav, 1883; died 1956), see Sarah Abrevaya Stein: "Illustrating Chicago's Jewish Left: The Cultural Aesthetics of Todros Geller and the L.-M.Shteyn Farlag," Jewish Social Studies, Vol 3, no 3, Spring/Summer 1997, pp. 74-110.

2. Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur [hereafter LNYL], vol. 4 (New York, 1961), pp. 424-5.

3. Ibid.

4. See London's biographical entry in Who's Who in World Jewry (New York, 1965), p. 614.

5. London's entry in the LNYL suggests Der Kval was active from 1916 to 1918; however, the books themselves bear dates between 1919 and 1924/5.

6. See Israel London's preface to Bashevis's Mayn tatns bezdn shtub (New York, 1956), pp. 5-6.

7. Der Babylonische Talmud, translated and annotated by Lazarus Goldschmidt, Berlin, S. Calvary and Co., 1897 - 1935.

8. LNYL entry, see note 2.

9. Located first at 23, rue Richer, and later at 13, rue de la Grange-Bateliere, both in the 9th arrondissement.

10. For more on this project, see the article by Lori Ilana McGlinchey and Neal Zagorin, "Buried Treasure / Literary Finds from the CJC Basement" in the National Yiddish Book Center magazine Der pakn-treger [The Book Peddler] (Spring 1993), no. 18, pp. 20 - 25.

11. Personal interview with Alex London, 28 April 2001. Pinchus Kremegne (1890 - 1981), Adolphe / Aizik Feder (1887 - 1943), Zygmunt Menkes (1896 - 1986), Mane-Katz (1894 - 1962) and Chaim Soutine (1893 - 1943) were all well-known Jewish artists in Paris.

12. Blatas was born in Lithuania in 1908 and died in New York in 1999.

13. See the Jewish Museum exhibition catalogue Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings by contemporary artists from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Israel London, May-June 1961 (New York, The Jewish Museum, 1961). The catalogue commented on the high quality of many of the works, singling out "a superb portrayal of a woman and a poetic still-life [by Moise Kisling], some of the most interesting works of Maurice Utrillo and Giorgio di Chirico, and a particularly delicate gouache by Pierre Bonnard."

14. See note 11.

15. Ibid.

16. Telephone interview with Yoni Fayn, 12 May, 2001.

17. See note 11.

18. Telephone interview with Halina Shnayderman, 7 June 2001.

19. See p. 22.

20. Mentioned in Meylekh Ravitsh's obituary for Israel London in the newspaper Der Veg, 1 November 1968. 21. Following Israel London's death, his son Alex London sent a set of these deluxe copies to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. [We hope to gain access to some images of that collection in the future: Henry]

[copyright 2002 David Mazower, with some changes to the formatting as it appeared on the Mendele list and a few photos added in, but no changes in content, by Henry Hollander, 2014]

A checklist of items published by Martin can book found in three parts, beginning here

Publications of Israel London. Checklist - Three.

Publications of Israel London. Checklist - Three. 

If you have not started with Checklist - One you might want to start there. 

This final post of the checklist includes sections D and E. Section D is vastly augmented over David Mazower's original list. This may not really be the most interesting group of books for the Yiddishist bibliophile, but it does contain some hints as to what sort of customers Israel London had to keep him in business. Many of the titles listed in section D are offprints from various Jewish scholarly periodicals. It is fair to assume that if Marstin was printing the offprints he was also printing the journals themselves. He also printed pamphlets for consularly sponsored art exhibits, the Carnegie Foundation and the United Nations. Having a decent stable of these institutional clients would have paid for a lot of Yiddish language publishing.

Section E that closes the checklist still needs some work. Over time I hope to track down more of these items. I hope to look through the Album by Uriel Birnbaum at the rare books room at Stanford University some time soon and am still looking for my own wayward copy of Toyt Tsiklus by Melech Ravitch. These books are all small and delicate which aids in their disappearance and rarity.

D: Titles in languages other than Yiddish

Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen and Moe, Jørgen Engebretsen.  Exhibition of original illustrations by Erik Werenskiold and Th. Kittelsen for the Norwegian Folk Tales of P. Chr. Asbjörnsen and Jörgen Moe. "Sponsored by the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D.C."   New York : Marstin Press, [1955?]. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 19, [1] pp. b/w illustrations.

Braham, Randolph L. The Hungarian Jewish catastrophe: a selected and annotated bibliography. New York, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and Yad Washem, 1962. [Printed by the Marstin Press]. Joint documentary projects. bibliographical series, no. 4. Quarto in dust jacket, xxv, 86 pp.

Carmichael, Joel.  The Eichmann Case: Reactions in West Germany. New York, Marstin Press, 1961. Reprint from Midstream, Summer, 1961. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 19 pp.
Chyet, Stanley F. Aaron Lopez: A Study in Buenafama. New York : Marstin Press, June 1963.  "Reprinted from American Jewish Historical Quarter, vol. LII, no. 4, (June, 1963)."  Octavo, stapled paper covers,  295-309 pp.

Corre, A.D. Heroes, heretics and hidalgos. New York, New York, Marstin Press, Sephardic House, [1966?]. "Reprinted from Jewish social studies, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2 (April 1966)." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 99-108 pp.

de Basil, W. and Hurok, Sol. S. Hurok presents Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo: Programme contenant les résumés des ballets Contes russes, Les présages, Le Tricorne, Prince Igor, La boutique fantasque, La concurrence, Beach, Scuola di Ballo, Union Pacific, Petroushka, Le Beau Danube, Les Sylphides, Le mariage d'Aurore. Ballet russe de Monte Carlo. New York Marstin Press, no date. Quarto, stapled paper covers, 36 pp. b/w and color illustrations.

Eckardt, Arthur Roy.  The Jewish-Christian Encounter: Six Guidelines for a New Relationship. New York, Marstin Press, 1968. From the "Central Conference American Rabbis Journal," June, 1968. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 22-30 pp.

Eisenstein, Ira. A Guide to Jewish Ritual. New York: Reconstructionist Press [Printer: Marstin Press], 1962. [not seen.]

Frankenthaler, Helen; Emmerich, André and O'Hara, Frank.  An exhibition of oil paintings by Frankenthaler, January 26th, March 2nd, 1960, the Jewish Museum of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. New York, Jewish Museum, 1960. [New York : Marstin Press, 1960]. Royal octavo, stapled paper covers, 17, [3] pp., b/w illustrations. [Preparation by Frank O'Hara and Mr. and Mrs André Emmerich ; photographs of the paintings, Rudolf Burckhardt].

Gar, Joseph. Bibliography of Articles on the Catastrophe and Heroism in Yiddish Periodicals/ Bibliografie fun Artiklen Vegn Khurban un Gevurah in Yidisher Periodike. New York, YIVO/ Yad Vashem, 1966-1969. Small quarto in dust jacket, x, 340 pp., indexes. Joint Documentary Projects Bibliographical Series No. 10. 5717 articles. [Printed by the Marstin Press]. 

Geffen, Joel S. America in the First European Hebrew Daily Newspaper Ha-Yom (1886-1888). New York, [Marstin Press], 1962. Reprint from: American Jewish Historical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 3, (1962). Octavo, stapled paper covers, 149-167 pp.

Glanz, Rudolf. Jews in relation to the cultural milieu of the Germans in America up to the eighteen eighties. New York, R. Glanz, 1947. (New York : Marstin Press). "Translated ... from the Yivo Bleter, Journal of the Yiddish Scientific Institute--Yivo, Vol. XXV, Nos. 1 and 2." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 55 pp.

Hosmer, Charles Bridgham. The Levys and the Restoration of Monticello. New York : Marstin Press, [1964?]. Reprinted from: American Jewish Historical Quarterly, vol. LIII, no. 3 (March, 1964). Octavo, stapled paper covers, 219-252 pp.

Houston, John A. Latin America in the United Nations. United Nations Study no. 8, Carnegie Endowment for World Peace. New York, [Marstin Press, Inc.], 1956. 345 pp., diagrams.

Institute for Mediterranean Affairs: About the structure and the aims of the Institute. New York, Marstin Press, [1967?]. Octavo, 14 pp. 

Karp, Abraham J. What's American about American Jewish History: The Religious Scene. New York : Marstin Press, [1963?]. "Reprinted from: American Jewish historical quarterly vol. LII, no. 4 (June, 1963)." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 283-294 pp.

Karp, Abraham J. Solomon Schechter comes to America. New York, N.Y.,  Marstin Press, [1964?]. Reprinted from American Jewish historical quarterly Vol. LIII, No. 1 (September, 1963). Octavo, stapled paper covers, 62 pp. 

Kirk, Rudolf and Kirk, Clara Marburg. Abraham Cahan and William Dean Howells: The Story of a Friendship. [New York, 1962]. Reprinted from: American Jewish historical quarterly, vol. LII, no. 1 (September, 1962). Imprint on back cover: Printed in the United States of America by Marstin Press, Inc. ... New York, N.Y. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 27-57 pp. b/w plate.

Kohn, Solomon Joshua. David Naar of Trenton, New Jersey. [New York, N.Y., Printed by Marstin Press, 1964]. "Reprinted from American Jewish Historical Quarterly, Vol. LIII, No. 4 (June, 1964)." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 373-395 pp., b/w illustrations.

Lifschuts, Ezekiel. Yiddish autobiographies as a source of American Jewish History. New York, [By Marstin Press], 1964. Reprinted from American Jewish Historical Quarterly, Vol. 8, No 3, 1964. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 253-263 pp.  

Medical Problems Associated with Addiction to Opioid Drugs. New York, N.Y. : Printed by Marstin Press, 1966.  "Off-Print from The International Journal of the Addictions, January, 1966." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 50-61 pp. 

Melohs, Charles. The M. Lynn Laskin collection of paintings and drawings by Charles Melohs: Paintings and drawings by Charles Melohs in the collection of M. Lynn Laskin. Charleston, West Virginia. [New York? : s.n., 1950's?]  "Marstin Press, Inc." 16 x 24 cm, illustrated. 

Melohs: Dec. 19, 1955-Jan. 19, 1956. [Catalog of the exhibition]. New York, Imago Gallery, 1955. [Printed by the Marstin Press]. Unpaginated, 15 illustrations.

Morgenstern, Julian. What are we Jews?  [New York : Printed by Marstin Press, 1965]. Off-print from Central Conference American Rabbis Journal, October, 1965. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 18-24 pp.

Nasatir, Abraham Phineas and Shpall, Leo. The Texel Affair. [New York, Printed by Marstin Press, 1963?] Extract from American Jewish historical quarterly, v. 53. Octavo, paper covers, 43 pp. 

Robinson, Jacob and Friedman, Philip.  Announcing the publication of "A Guide to Jewish History Under Nazi Impact."  [New-York, Marstin Press, 1960.]      14 pp. Probably a perspectus for the Guide which was published.

Robinson, Jacob and Friedman, Philip. A Guide to Jewish History Under Nazi Impact.   New York, Yivo Institute and Yad Vashem, 1960. [New-York, Marstin Press, 1960.] With forewords by Benzion Dinur and Salo W. Baron. Bibliographical series / Joint Documentary Projects, 1. Quarto in dust jacket, xxxi, 425 pp.

Rontch, Isaac. Jewish Youth at War: Letters from American Soldiers. New York, Marstin Press, 1945. 304 pp., b/w illustrations.

Salute to the wounded: thanks folks - for everything. Program for a benefit show held on January 9, 1945 to raise money for the care and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers for the Chaplain's Fund of Halloran General Hospital, Mitchell Field Hospital, St. Albans Naval Hospital, the U.S. Marine Hospital of the Port of N.Y. and Mason General Hospital. The program includes brief biographical essays about army chaplains and wounded soldiers, and on the roles played by members of the U.S. Chaplain Corps, the Merchant Marine, and the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America in winning World War II. New York , N.Y., Marstin Press, [1945?]. 48 unnumbered pages, illustrations.

Steinbach, Alan A., edited by. Jewish Book Annual Volume 25. 5728 - 1967/1968. New York, Jewish Book Council of America, 1967. Octavo, blue cloth with gold lettering, xvi, 430 pp., a few b/w photos. Softbound. Very Good. Articles are "Shmuel Yosef Agnon: A Resolution," "Nelly Sachs: A Resolution," Introduction," A. Alan Steinbach, "Hebrew Authors and Holy Writings: A Miscellany," compiled by Agnon, "Shmuel Yosef Agon - Lyricist of Modern Fiction," Judah Stampfer, "S.Y. Agnon: Alienation and Return," Naftali C. Brandwein, "S.Y. Agnin's Works in English Translation: A Selected Bibliography," Jacob Kabakoff, "Nelly Sachs - Nobel laureate," Steinbach, "The Tribune of the Golus," Maurice Samuel, "French-Jewish Writers: An overview," Lothar Kahn, "The Future of Yiddish and Yiddish Literature," Isaac Bashevis Singer, "Famous Jewish Book Collections and Collectors," C. Roth, "The Rise of the Jewish Book in American Publishing," Charles A. Madison, "The YIVO Library," Dina Abramowicz, "JWB's Role in American Jewish Cultural Life," Bernard Postal, "Aaron Galntz-Leyeles 1889-1966," Sol Liptzin, "Abraham Yaari," 1899-1966," G. Kressel (In Hebrew), Jewish-American Imaginative Writings in the Last Twenty-Five Years," Charles Angoff, "Reflections on American Jewish Writers," Joseph C. Landis, "Scholarly Works on Jewish Philosophy and Religion," Jospeh L. Blau, "Books on the History and Philosophy of Jewish Education," Samuel M. Blumenfield, "Recent Literature on Jewish Art: A Critical Appraisal," Joseph Guttmann, "Books on Biblical History and Archaeology, 1960-1966," Harry M. Orlinsky, "A Survey and Evaluation of Yizkor Books," Elias Schulman, "American Jewish Juvenile Literature During the Past Twenty-Five Years," Sophia N. Cedarbaum, "A Quarter Century of American Hebrew Letters," Jacob Kabakoff, "Yiddish Prose in America," Shlomo Bickel, "Saul Tscherichowsky: Panaramic Poet," Eisig Silberschlag, "Pioneers in Jewish History of Poland: Meir Balaban and Isaac Shipper," Julian Hirshaut (In Yiddish), The Literary Work of Naftali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin," A.R. Malachi (In Hebrew), "Eisig Meir Dick," Mordecai Kosover, (In Yiddish), "The Contribution of Shelomoh Yehudah Rapoport to Jewish Studies," Isaac E. Barzilay (In Hebrew), "Jewish Literary Anniversaries, 1968," Theodore Wiener, "American Jewish Non-Fiction, 1966-67," I. Edward Kiev, "American Jewish Juvenile Fiction Books, 1966-67," Harold U. Ribalow, "Jewish Juvenile Books, 1966-67," Sophia N. Cedarbaum, "American Hebrew Books, 1966-67," Theodore Weiner, (In Hebrew), "Yiddish Books, 1966-67," Dina Abramowicz (In Yiddish), "Anglo-Jewish Books, 1966-67," Elizaebth E. Eppler, "Selected Books of Israel, 1966-67," Ahi Sefer, (In Hebrew), Winners of 1966 Literarty Awards of the Jewish Book Council of America," Recipients of Library Citations in 1967,"  and "A Chronicle of the Jewish Book Council of Ameirca," Philip Goodman.

Tobias, Thomas J. The Cemetery We Rededicate. New York, Marstin Press, 1964[?] "Reprinted from American Jewish Historical Quarter, vol. LIII, no. 4, (June, 1964)." Octavo, stapled paper covers, 352-370 pp., b/w illustrations.

Tobias, Thomas J. The Many-sided Dr. De La Motta. New York, Marstin Press, 1963. Reprinted from: American Jewish historical quarterly, vol. LII, no. 3, March, 1963. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 200-219 pp., b/w illustrations. 

The Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. New York: Worldmark Press, 1960.  XXXI, 1456 pp., b/w illustrations.

Venturi, Lionello. Marc Chagall. New York, Pierre Matisse Editions, 1945.  Small quarto, paper covered boards, 47 pp., LXIV pp., b/w plates. A numbered limited edition.

Weiser, Benno [Varon]. Visitenkarte / Gedichte. New York, 1957 (in German). Poesía alemana -- Siglo XX. 41 pp. 

Wint, Guy. South Asia: Unity and Disunity. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [New York Marstin Press] 1954. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 131-191 pp., map.

Wischnitzer, Arnold. Crypto-Jews in Mexico during the Sixteenth Century. New York, NY Marstin Press 1962. Offprint from Jewish Historical Quarterly 51, Part 3, (1962). Octavo, stapled paper covers, 168-213 pp.

Yad Washem Remembrance Authority of the Disaster and Heroism. Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. Joint Documentary Projects. Announcing the Bibliographical Series. Yivo Institute for Jewish Research; Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority (Jérusalem). New York, Marstin Press, 1960. Octavo, stapled paper covers, 32 pp.

E: The original Der Kval.

Ben-Yakoṿ, M. Yanḳev Dinezon: a sḳitse fun zayn leben un shafen.  Ṿarshe, Lemberg, Vin, Der ḳṿal, [1919?].

Uriel Birnbaum. Album; tsaykhnungen tsu: Yitsḥak Leyb Perets, Yaʻakov Dinezohn, Mendele Mokher Sefarim, Sholem Aleykhem, Shimʻon Shemuʼel Frug. Vin, Der Kval Farlag, 681 [1920/21]. A portfolio of drawings.

Frug, S. G. Sh.Sh. Frug: a sḳitse fun zeyn leben un Shafen.  Ṿin, "Der Ḳṿal", [192-?]. Images courtesy of Stanford University Libraries.

Gross-Zimerman, Moshe. Mendele Moykher Sforim : fragmenṭen ṿegen zayn liṭerarisher perzenlikhḳayṭ. Ṿin: Der ḳṿal, [1920]. Images courtesy of Stanford University Libraries from a xeroxed reproduction. 

Melekh Khmielnitsḳi. Oyf a shṭiler sṭeshḳe.  Ṿin: Der ḳṿal, 1921.

David Konigsberg. Hunderṭ soneṭen. Ṿin, Ḳṿal-farlag, 681 (1920 or 1921).

Yosef Hilel Leṿi. Frume gezangen: un andere lider. Warsaw, Farlag "Der Kval", 1920. Octavo, blue cloth spine, printed paper covered boards, 48 pp.

Isaac Joel Linetzky. Dos Poylishe yingel. M Zilburg. Ṿin, Der Kṿal, 1921. Image courtesy of David Mazower.

Melech Ravitch. Shpinoza: poeṭisher pruv ...: der mensh, dos ṿerḳ ... Ṿin: Der Kṿal Farlag, Ḳoʹoperaṭivʻe opṭeylung "Ḳriṭiḳ", 1921.

Melech Ravitch; Ber Horovic. Ṭoyṭ tsiḳlus.  Ṿin, Ṿarshe, Lemberg, "Der Ḳṿal", [1919 or 1920].
Melech Ravitch. Nakete lider.  Vienna, Der Kval-Farlag, 1921. Duodecimo, illustrated paper covered boards, 191 pp., yellowed paper. Hardbound.  Text is in Yiddish. Delicate and uncommon. Includes the familiar Der Kval insignia on the half-title page.

Zalman Shneour. Fun dem zeydns ḳṿal.  Berlin, Klal-farlag, 1922. 

Moses Silburg. Y.L. Perets: kharaḳṭer-shṭrikhen. Ṿin, Der ḳṿal, [1919]  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Publications of Israel London. Checklist - Two

Publications of Israel London. Checklist - Two. 

If you have not started with Checklist - One you might want to start there. Titles with prices listed can currently be purchased from hollanderbooks.com. For other please feel free to inquire.

C. Other Yiddish books printed by the Marstin Press. Additions to David Mazower's list are indicated by an asterix before the author's name.

 Algemeyne entsiklopedye [General Encyclopaedia]. Ershter band, Pariz, Dubnov fond, 1934 [Imprimerie d'Art Voltaire, Directeur: Israel London]; tsveyter band, Pariz, Dubnov fond, 1935 [Imprimerie Centrale Cooperative, Directeur: Israel London]; driter band, Pariz: dubnov fond, 1936 [I.C.C., Directeur: Israel London]; ferter band, Pariz, dubnov fond, 1937 [Imprimerie Centrale Commerciale; Directeur: Israel London]. Note: the "finfter band, New York: Dubnov fond un tsiko, 1944" was printed by Grenich Printing Corp. This was the last volume of the alphabetically ordered encyclopaedia, which was followed by the series of seven Yidn volumes, alef - zayen, which appeared from 1939 to 1966 in Paris and New York. Title page of the second Paris volume illustrated above.

Bomze, Nokhem. A khasene in harbst: lider [A Wedding in Autumn: Poems]. Illustrated by Yude Tofl [Jehuda (Jennings) Tofel]. New York, A Committee of Writers with the help of the David Ignatov Literatur-Fund, 1949. Octavo, red cloth boards with silver lettering over a blue cloth spine with gold lettering, frontispiece drawing by Mark Reif dated 1939, 142 pp., b/w drawings by Tofel.  $20.00

  This illustration by Tofel appears opposite page 40. Tofel's illustrations and his wavy typeface appeared in Yiddish books from the early 1920s.

Glatshteyn, Yankev. Fun mayn gantsen mi: 1919 - 1956 [From All My Labour; collected Poems 1919 - 1956]. Illustrated by Ilya Schor. New York [no publisher given; printed by Marstin Press], 1956. Quarto, tan cloth with black printed panels on the spine and front board, 394 pp., with drawings by Ilya Schor. The second image shows one of the illustrations and the style of page lay-out that appeared in this Marstin volume as well as several others. Images provided courtesy of Stanford University Libraries.

Goldshteyn, Ab. Fish-fang / fartseykhenungen fun a fish-fang libhober (Fishing / Notes of a Lover of Fishing). New York, [no publisher; printed by Marstin Press], 1951. Small octavo, wide buckram cloth covered spine with red lettering, red cloth covered boards, 160 pp.

Grinberg, Eliezer [Greenberg, Eliezer]. Baynakhtiker dialog [Night Dialogue]. Illustrated with drawings by Ilya Shor. New York, Farlag "Getzeltn", 1953. Quarto, quarter olive cloth with green lettering and marbled paper covered boards with yellow lettering, 80 pp., a few vignettes by Ilya Schor who also was the creator of the lettering used on the front board and title page splash. $40.00

*Heilik, S. Dos Lebedike Folk: Undzer Alte un Naye Geshikhte/ The Indestructible People: Our Old and New History. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Perets-Farlag Ink., 1974. Octavo, yellow cloth with red lettering, color frontispiece photo, 400 pp., b/w and color photos and drawings.      $25.00
The frontispiece photo has the author posed by the side of the grave of Scholem Aleichem's father's grave in Winnipeg. The lettering is added clumsily to make the difficult to read inscriptions legible. Also shown above is one of the many hand-drawn and lettered maps. This volume was produced for use in Winnipeg Yiddish school.

Kazdan, Khayem-Shloyme. ed. Lerer yisker bukh / di umgekumene lerer fun tsisho shuln in poyln [Teachers Memorial Book / the Murdered Teachers of the Tshisho Schools in Poland]. New York, Komitet tsu fareybikn dem ondenk fun di umgekumene lerer fun di tsisho shuln in poyln, 1954. Quarto, grey cloth with black lettering, 566 columns, b/w photos title page illustrated by Khayim Gros [Chaim Gross]. $60.00

Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur. 8 volumes. New York, Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur Kongress [Congress of Jewish Culture], 1956-1981. Volumes 1 - 7 were printed by Marstin Press, Inc., New York / I. London, President; Vol. 7 appeared in 1967. Vol. 8 "Printed in the United States of America / New York 1981" does not specify the printer. Lettering on the title page is provided by Saul Raskin. 

Liberman, Khayim. Ven di velt hot gebrent: 1939 - 1946 [When the World Was Afire: 1939 - 1946]. 2 Volumes. New York, Farlag Forverts aroysgegeben durkh dem H.L. Bukh-Komitet, 1948. Octavos, tan cloth with tan lettering against red bordered blue panels, 541 + 596 pp., subscribers list. This was issued with dust jackets which I have seen but do not currently have access to. $60.00

Manger, Itsik, Lid un Balade [Songs and Ballads]. New York, Marstin Press for Itsik Manger Komitet, 1952. Octavo, black cloth spine and a black cloth cameo on the front board over floral paper covered boards, 498 pp., title page illustration by Chaim Gross and wood cut illustrations by Ilya Schor, B. Kopman, Shlomo Lehrer, Y. Tofel and Yitshak Lichtenstein. The compilation was prepared by London himself. The committee that worked on the book was headed by Abraham Reisen, S. Niger, N. Khanin, L. Segal and Jacob Pat. With an afterword written for this collection by Manger at the rear. (see Manger's acknowledgement of Israel London in his afterword). In David Mazower article he mentions the existence of special editions of Israel London's publications. Below are illustrations provided by David that show details of one of these rare special editions. There is also at least one additional less expensive variant binding printed the Marstin Press. Y.L. Peretz Farlag in Tel Aviv also issued a reprint edition in the 1970s.

The cover of the deluxe edition is full cloth and the cameo of Manger is fuller, projecting outwards strongly. The special edition colophon from the verso includes an roman alphabet inscription by Manger. The recipient or London has added her name. The title page is printed with the illustration and lettering in red. This use of color in a special or first edition is a well set precedent. It was used by the Romm's for their first editions of the Talmud and by Saul Raskin for the first editions of his large illustrated volumes. 

Mani-Leyb, [Mani Leib]. Lider un baladn [Poems and Ballads]. New York, CYCO, 1955. Two Volumes. Octavos, soiled tan cloth spine with blue and red cloth covered boards, title-page photos of the author, 341 + 354, 29 pp., Mani Leib bibliography by Efrim Jeshurin at the rear of the second volume on a tan paper stock distinct from the paper stock of the main portion of the volume. Above is illustrated [after the cover of Volume One] the title pages of both volumes with the different photos of the author. $50.00

Pat, Yankev [Pat, Jacob]. Shmuesn mit yidishe shrayber [Chats with Yiddish Writers]. New York, published by the author [printed by Marstin Press], [1954]. Octavo in creme cloth with gold lettering against a blue panel, 291 pp., duotone photos. $25.00

 Rontsh, Yitskhok-Elkhonen [Rontch, Isaac E.]. Amerike in der yidisher literatur [America in Yiddish Literature]. New York, Y.-A. Rontsh bukh-komitet, 1945. Octavo, blue cloth with gold lettering, 256 pp., bibliography. $25.00

Rubinshteyn, Yoysef. Megilas rusland [Scroll of Woe of a Polish Jew in Russia]. New York, CYCO, tasha"kh [1960/1961]. Octavo, tan cloth with black lettering over a red cloth spine with black spine lettering, 256 pp., title-page, lettering and drawings by Ezekiel Schloss, two drawings by Yonia Fain. $40.00 signed. $30.00 unsigned.
The portrait of Rubinstein appears after the verso. The Yoni Fayn illustrations appears opposite page 76.  
Rubinshteyn, Yoysef. Nakht oyf nalevkes [A Night on Nalewki Street]. New York: Yidish kultur-klub in boston mit der hilf fun dovid ignatov literatur-fond, 1949. Octavo, black cloth spine with gold lettering and off-white cloth boards with black lettering, 192 pp., frontispiece by M. Reif, b/w drawings by Reif and Abraham Volkovitsh. $30.00
Mendel Reif created the frontispiece illustrated following the verso. Yuhudah Tofel created the device on the title page and the lettering for the title page and cover. Abraham Volkovitsh provided the in-text drawings at the beginning of the chapters.  

Rubinshteyn, Yoysef. Yetsiyes eyrope [Exodus from Europe]. New York, 1970 Octavo, tan cloth with black lettering over a green cloth spine gold lettering, 287 pp., b/w illustrations by Ezekiel Schloss, index. [Published posthumously at the Marstin Press by Israel London's son, Alex London.] 
Another photo of Rubinstein. 

*Rubinstein, Joseph. Hurbn Poyln/ Polish Jewry - A Lament. New York, CYCO Bicher Farlag, 1964. Octavo, tan cloth over a blue cloth spine, 256 pp., title-page, lettering and drawings by Ezekiel Schloss.      $30.00

Shvayd, Mark. Treyst mayn folk: dos lebn fun Y-.L.Perets [Console my people: the life of Y.L. Perets]. New York, Farlag Perets, 1955. Octavo, black cloth with green lettering over a red cloth spine with gold lettering, 308 pp., b/w photos, bibliography, index. $25.00
Included are images of the front panel of the dust jacket and the front cover as well as the title page. Also included is the rear cover of the dust jacket with some fantastic blurbs. Many Yiddish books were published with dust jackets but they are very uncommon as a rule.

*Shvayd, Mark [Schweid, Mark]. Ale Lider un Poemes. New York, Farlag Peretz, 1951. Octavo, tan cloth with red spine lettering and blind-stamped lettering on the front board, frontispiece photo, 350 pp. Schweid's own selection of his best poetry.      $25.00
Shvayd's portrait.

*Segalovitsh [Segalowicz], Z.[usman]. Itster: Poemen. New York, Farlag CYCO, 1948. Octavo, quarter black cloth with off-white covered cloth covered boards, frontispiece photo, 232 pp.      $20.00
Portrait of Segalovitsh and of the town square of Kazimierz where Segalovitsh grew up. 

*Shtiker, Meyer. Yidishe Landshaft/ Yiddish Landscape. New York, 1958. Octavo, grey cloth covered boards with red cloth spine with gold lettering, 173 pp., b/w drawings by Chaim Gross.  Printed by the Marstin Press, Inc., I. London.      $35.00

*Tabatshnik, A. [Tabachnick, A.]. Der Mentsh in Holem: Di Dikhter fun Meir Shtiker/ Der Mensh in Cholem: The Poetry of Meyer Stiker. New York, Marstin Press, 1962. Octavo, brown paper covered boards with gold lettering, tipped in frontispiece photo, 48 pp.       $20.00
The photo of Tabatshnik appears as a frontispiece.  This volume is well printed but appears to have been a contract publication.

Trunk, Yeshaye [Trunk, Isaiah]. Lodzher geto: a historishe un sotsyologishe shtudye mit dokumentn [The Lodz Ghetto: An Historical and Sociological Study with Documents]. New York, [no publisher is given, but Yad VaShem (Jerusalem) and Yivo (New York) are the academic sponsors of this book; printed by Marstin Press, 1962. Octavo, red cloth, xviii, 528 pp., fold-out map, fold-out table, tables, indexes, foreword by Dr. Jacob Robinson translated into English at the rear. $40.00