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 2019

This issue of the magazine features:

• History: An Offshoot of the Kultur-lige

The Kultur-lige (Culture League) was a cultural and educational organization founded by members of the socialist-minded Jewish intelligentsia of Kiev in 1918, amid the heady and hopeful post-revolutionary atmosphere. Their goal was to foster high culture in Yiddish. The Kultur-lige was a model for similar Yiddishist societies that sprang up in different parts of the world. In Ukraine, its Sovietized remnants, including its publishing imprint, survived until the late 1920s. This article traces the history of the Kiev Jewish literary group Boy (Construction), which can also be seen as an offshoot of the Kultur-lige. The author emphasizes the fact that, for a number of historical reasons, the group’s former members and other Yiddish writers with an elitist focus, unlike many Ukrainian writers, survived the Great Terror and rose to prominence in Soviet Yiddish literature. The Stalinist terror would devour them a decade later, in the late 1940s, when Yiddish literature, despite its small audience, was viewed by the authorities as not only superfluous but harmful.

• Review: Vladimir Druk, Alef-Beth

The article examines the new collection of poetry by Vladimir Druk, a contemporary Russian writer who lives in New York. According to the reviewer, the book is a kind of attempt to recreate, in Russian verse, the Sefer Yetzirah or Book of Creation, a medieval Kabbalistic treatise on the mystery of Hebrew letters and how God used them to create the world.

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

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: September–October 2019

• Bibliography: Twenty-Five New Books