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.


April 2018

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Sholem Aleichem Forever: The Yiddish Writer’s Last Passover Story

The magazine features the first Russian translation of Sholem Aleichem’s short story “Kidalto ve-kidashto.” It was written in 1916, a month before the writer’s death. In his concluding remarks, the translator points out that the story is a strange one. The events described (riding in a wagon, visiting a bathhouse, etc.) could not have taken place on the Sabbath, and yet it was most certainly the Sabbath the writer had in mind. Gravely ill, Sholem Aleichem was, perhaps, in a hurry to send his Passover story to the newspaper before the deadline and made a mistake. Curt Leviant, an American novelist and professor of Jewish studies who translated the story into English, found a solution to the problem. In his translation, “The Holiday Kiddush,” he unceremoniously altered the original plot, purged certain passages, and improvised at length. This approach to Sholem Aleichem’s work was, obviously, unacceptable to Soviet Yiddish literary scholars, editors, and translators, yet they were unable to mention something with Sholem Aleichem’s story was wrong in their discussion of the great writer’s work. Consequently, the problematic story was never published in the Soviet Union either in Yiddish or Russian.

Names: The Loneliness of a Jewish Editor

The article is dedicated to the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Aron Vergelis (1918–1999), editor-in-chief of Sovetish Heymland, the only Soviet Yiddish magazine during the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Review: Between the Reality and Dream

The review analyzes the books of Denis Sobolev, a novelist and cultural studies researcher, based in Haifa, and “one of the best contemporary Russian writers in Israel,” according to the reviewer.

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: May–June 2018

Bibliography: Thirty New Books