Yivo Institute for Jewish Research Publishes Guide to Yiddish Literature in English

A bibliography of Yiddish books published in English translation from 1945 to 1967 was issued here by the YIVO librarian. Miss Dina Abramowiez. The bibliography lists 217 individual items with full information as to year of publication, publisher and number of pages. Various editions of the same work are also listed.

Miss Abramowiez has also contributed an extensive introduction in which she outlines the enormous growth of interest in translations from Yiddish during the past twenty years. The half century before 1945 produced only 80 English translations in book form while the present bibliography lists almost three times that number, she stresses.

“Another, more subtle, but nevertheless distinct change.” Miss Abramowiez writes. “is the shift of emphasis in the selection of materials for translation.” The sweat-shop, the flourishing Yiddish theater and nostalgia for the shtetl were the chief motivating factors during the earlier period. There were, however, very few translations of the classic works of Yiddish literature. The situation reverses itself after 1945. In the current list the three “Founding Fathers” of modern literature. Sholem Aleichem, I.L. Peretz and Mendele Mocher Sforim, account for 35 items.

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