The Hidden Isaac Bashevis Singer

Paperback | March 1, 2011

EditorSeth L. Wolitz

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Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer stands virtually alone among prominent writers for being more widely known through translations of his work than through the original texts. Yet readers and critics of the Yiddish originals have long pointed out that the English versions are generally shortened, often shorn of much description and religious matter, and their perspectives and denouements are significantly altered. In short, they turn the Yiddish author into a Jewish-American English writer, detached from of his Eastern European Jewish literary and cultural roots.

By contrast, this collection of essays by leading Yiddish scholars seeks to recover the authentic voice and vision of the writer known to his Yiddish readers as Yitskhok Bashevis. The essays are grouped around four themes:

  • The Yiddish language and the Yiddish cultural experience in Bashevis's writings
  • Thematic approaches to the study of Bashevis's literature
  • Bashevis's interface with other times and cultures
  • Interpretations of Bashevis's autobiographical writings

A special feature of this volume is the inclusion of Joseph Sherman's new, faithful translation of a chapter from Bashevis's Yiddish "underworld" novel Yarme and Keyle.

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Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer stands virtually alone among prominent writers for being more widely known through translations of his work than through the original texts. Yet readers and critics of the Yiddish originals have long pointed out that the English versions are generally shortened, often shorn of much descr...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2011Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292728689

ISBN - 13:9780292728684

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionI. The Yiddish Language and the Yiddish CulturalExperience in Bashevis's Writings 1. Irving Saposnik: A Canticle for Isaac: A Kaddish for Bashevis 2. Joseph Sherman: Bashevis/Singer and the Jewish Pope 3. Avrom Noversztern: History, Messianism, and Apocalypse in Bashevis's Work4. Mark L. Louden: Sociolinguistic Views of Isaac Bashevis SingerII. Thematic Approaches to the Study of Bashevis's Fiction 5. Leonard Prager Bilom in Bashevis's Der knekht (The Slave): A khaye hot oykh a neshome (An animal also has a soul) 6. Alan Astro: Art and Religion in Der bal-tshuve (The Penitent) 7. Jan Schwarz: "Death Is the Only Messiah": Three Supernatural Stories by Yitskhok BashevisIII. Bashevis's Interface With Other Times And Cultures8 Astrid Starck-Adler: Bashevis's Interactions with the Mayse-bukh (Book of Tales)9 Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska: The Role of Polish Language and Literature in Bashevis's FictionIV. Interpretations of Bashevis's Autobiographical Writings10 Nathan Cohen: Revealing Bashevis's Earliest Autobiographical Novel, Varshe 1914-1918 (Warsaw 1914-1918) 11 Itzik Gottesman: Folk and Folklore in the Work of Bashevis 162 12 Janet Hadda: Bashevis at Forverts 173V. Bashevis's Untranslated "Gangster" Novel: Yarme Un Keyle13 Joseph Sherman: A Background Note on the Translation of Yarme un keyle14. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Yarme and Keyle: Chapter 2, translated by Joseph ShermanAppendix: Seth L. Wolitz and Joseph Sherman Bashevis Singer as a Regionalist of Lublin Province: A NoteGlossaryNotes on ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

I can't think of another anthology, nor of any individual study of Singer, that sets out so rich and varied a sense of his work in its contexts. - Lawrence Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of American Literature, Wellesley College