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.


October 2019

This issue of the magazine features:

• Sholem Aleichem Forever: The Belated Story of Tevye the Dairyman

The magazine features the first ever Russian translation of Sholem Aleichem’s short story “Vakhlaklakes.” The translator entitled his work as follows: “Slippery be their way.” The author published the Yiddish original in 1916, four months before his death. The question of whether the story is an integral part of the famous cycle of Tevye the Dairyman stories remains controversial. Probably for this reason, and not because of censorship restrictions, “Vakhlaklakes” was never published in the USSR, neither in Yiddish nor in Russian.

Problem: In Defense of Sholem Aleichem

Born in Poltava province and having lived for many years in Kiev, Sholem Aleichem would be perceived by independent Ukraine as part of its national cultural pantheon, and after a long break, this classic Yiddish writer’s books were again published in the official language of the country. Almost simultaneously, two new translations of his short story series Tevye the Dairyman appeared in Ukrainian. Our reviewer has harsh words about the quality of these translations. He writes: “There is a demand in Ukrainian society for new translations from Yiddish, but no qualified translators. Even for Sholem Aleichem’s greatest work, no one could be found, except for two irresponsible translators whose knowledge of the Yiddish language and general philological training was entirely inadequate for this complex task.”

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: November–December 2019

• Bibliography: Twenty New Books