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.


August 2018

This issue of the magazine includes:

• In Memoriam: Oleg Yuriev (1959–2018)

Oleg Yuriev, an outstanding modern Russian author, passed away recently. In his prose and poetry, he revisited his family’s plot at the St. Petersburg Jewish Cemetery on several occasions. Although he lived and died in Frankfurt, he was buried in this plot in his hometown in keeping with his will. The magazine pays its last respects to Yuriev by publishing his early essay “The Ninth Leningrad Short Story” (1993), featuring an emotional depiction of the cemetery plot that came to be his final resting place.

History: Not Only a Monument

The comprehensive Russko-evreiskii (idish) slovar’ (Russian-Yiddish Dictionary), published in the Soviet Union in 1984, is a unique book. The idea for it came about in the early 1930s at the Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture in Kiev, but it took over fifty years for the dictionary to see the light of day. Its first editor-in-chief, Elye Spivak (1890–1950), died in a Moscow jail during the infamous anti-Semitic campaign of the late Stalin period. All the dictionary’s other editors did stints in the Gulag. For many years, the dictionary’s manuscript was housed in the restricted-access collection of the State Academic Library in Kiev. It was only due to this happy accident that it eventually came into the possession of the editors of Sovetish Heymland, the only Soviet Yiddish magazine during the late Soviet period. This dictionary can be seen as a monument to the Soviet Yiddish cultural figures who fell victim to Stalin’s purges, but its significance is not merely historical. It is still an important reference book for professional Yiddish scholars and novices alike. The magazine presents the detective-like story of how the book’s manuscript was rescued from virtual captivity. The story is based on documents recently discovered in the archives in Kiev.

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

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: September–October 2018

Bibliography: Fifty New Books