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 1998

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Jewish Book Festival in the C.I.S.: Reports from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Dnepropetrovsk

• Review: Saul Bellow's New Publications in Russian

The article analyzes three of Saul Bellow's novels just published in Moscow: Herzog, Seize the Day, and Dangling Man.

Response: The Abyss Number—a New, Controversial Book Dedicated to Victims of the Holocaust

Moscow writer and publisher Vardvan Varzhapetyan was well known as editor-in-chief of the Armenian-Jewish magazine Noah (published in Russian in 1995–1997). In 1998, he carried out a new and ambitious project devoted to the Holocaust. His book The Abyss Number is a volume of more than 800 pages without words. It includes only one huge number of 5,820,960 digits to symbolize the total number of the victims of the Shoah. Every digit represents a person who perished. Varzhapetyan's book received positive reviews in the Russian media. However, the magazine's editorial board, though convinced of the author's good intentions, has serious doubts that such a delicate topic as the Holocaust memory should be a subject for postmodernist experimentation.

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: January–February 1999

Bibliography: 70 New Books