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 2001

This issue of the magazine includes:

• Review: A New-Old Novel by David Markish

David Markish's novel was first published twenty years ago in Israel, under the title Jesters. In 2001 the novel was republished in St. Petersburg under the new title The Jew of Peter the Great. It is a historical narrative about several people of Jewish origin who lived in Russia under Peter the First—the court jester Lakosta, the Commissioner-General of the St. Petersburg police force Devier, and Vice-Chancellor Shafirov. The reviewer emphasizes that the novel is inaccurate in many of its historical details, but this is not so important because in fact the characters represent different types of Jews who lived in Russia in an absolutely different period—under the Soviet regime. As Moscow or Leningrad Jews of the 1970s they constantly discuss the questions of anti-Semitism, Jewish identity, assimilation. The reviewer concludes that in spite of its limited literary quality, the novel is still of some interest because David Markish managed to recreate the model of social life of Soviet Jewry.

Synopses: Eight New Books

The magazine presents brief reviews of 8 books recently published in different cities of Russia and Ukraine. Of special interest are two books by the great Jewish folklorist Moshe Beregovsky (1892–1961). The volume Jewish Folk Tunes without Words was published in 1999 by the Moscow publishing house "Kompozitor." The monograph Purimshpils. Jewish Folk Music-Theatrical Performances was published in 2001 by the Kiev-based Institute for Jewish Studies. These two volumes complete the publication of Beregovsky's scholarly legacy or more precisely, of his major five-volume work Jewish Music Folklore. The magazine's reviewer states that now a new period for Jewish music has started—the period of performance and composition based on the treasures of Jewish folklore preserved by Beregovsky.

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

Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: January–February 2002

Bibliography: 70 New Books