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 2009

This issue of the magazine includes:

Sholem Aleichem Turns 150: An Unknown Letter by Sholem Aleichem

This magazine publishes for the first time a letter from Sholem Aleichem to the prominent Russian-Jewish historian and journalist Saul Ginsburg. This letter, dated January 11, 1903, was written in Russian. However, it was mostly concerned with discussing problems in the development of the Yiddish language, including its style and orthography, protecting Yiddish from inorganic influences, and overcoming differences in dialect.

• Memoirs: Sholem Aleichem and Others through the Eyes of an Idealistic Publisher

This magazine presents the recollections of the merchant, publisher, and Zionist activist Alexander (Shabse) Rapoport (c. 1862–1928). The crowning achievement of his life was the establishment of Der fraynd, the first Yiddish daily in Russia, which would become a landmark in the history of Jewish culture. Written in a simple, unpretentious style, Rapoport’s memoirs are full of significant details about life in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He shares interesting observations about the Jewish literary circles of that time, and recounts curious episodes from the lives of Sholem Aleichem and other founding fathers of Yiddish literature.

Review: A New Russian Translation of an Isaac Bashevis Singer Novel

Satan in Goray, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, was recently published in Russian translation for the first time. Surprisingly, this Russian edition has provoked some superficial responses in periodicals that regard the novel as a kind of “yellow-back.” The review in this magazine emphasizes: “Bashevis is absolutely not ‘yellow,’ though he uses popular ‘yellow’ Yiddish literature from the 16–18th centuries, which was oriented toward women and plain folk, as his material. One should not confuse the novel with its sources.”

• Jewish Calendar of Significant Dates: September–October 2009

• Bibliography: 35 New Books