The People of the Book inthe World of Books isaRussian bimonthly publication for serious readers with Jewish interests. Our English website includes only thesummaries of thepublished articles. Toaccess the complete text of them, please visit the Russian version of this website.


December 2016

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Sholem Aleichem Forever: A Hanukkah Story from the Early 20th Century

The magazine features a Russian translation of Sholem Aleichem’s feuilleton “Vos iz khanuke?”(“What is Hanukkah?”), written in 1901 and never before published in Russian. The short story is a biting satire of the Russian-Jewish bourgeoisie of the time, the rich and assimilated residents of the big cities who had abandoned all traditional Jewish customs and saw Hanukkah as an occasion for playing cards. In the brief introduction, the translator mentions Sholem Aleichem would later rewrite the feuilleton for an American Yiddish audience. In the new version, all the characters had different names (Mr. Rachelson instead of Lokshentopov, Charlie instead of Grishka, etc.), the Yiddish was full of Americanisms like “all right” and “hello,” and the action took place in New York. Obviously, the original story has been used for the Russian translation.

• Review: On Mikhail Yasnov’s Selected Poems

Petersburg poet Mikhail Yasnov (born 1946) is primarily known as the author of numerous children’s books and a brilliant translator of French poetry into Russian. The review analyzes a recently published selection of his “adult” poetry, which is less known to the general reading public. The reviewer focuses on the Jewish aspects of Yasnov’s work, which are sometimes hidden and sometimes obvious in the texts. The reviewer concludes, “This is a wonderful book in which there is not a single false note. Read Yasnov’s poems slowly, and you’ll feel joy, grief, and delight.”

• Looking through Russian Literary Magazines: Novels and Articles of Jewish Interest

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: January–February 2017

• Bibliography: 60 New Books