Advertisement

The Uncivil Servant: London Alexanderplatz

by Mitchell Abidor   Discussed in this essay: Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, translated by Michael Hofmann. NYRB Classics, 2018, 458 pages.   ALFRED DOBLIN’S Berlin Alexanderplatz, originally published in 1929,  achieved its greatest fame in the English-speaking world in 1983 when Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s version, made for German TV, was released here. That was also […]

Read More

We Are All Jews, But Where’s the Party?

by Marty Roth Discussed in this essay: Feeling Jewish (a Book for Just About Anyone) by Deborah Baum. Yale University Press, 2017, 296 pages.   “Modernization . . . is about everyone becoming Jewish [and no one] is better at being Jewish than the Jews themselves.” —Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century DEVORAH BAUM’S Feeling Jewish is a subtle […]

Read More

The Uncivil Servant: Fame and Disillusionment

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Late Fame by Arthur Schnitzler. NYRB Classics, 2017, 128 pages.    ARTHUR SCHNITZLER (1862-1931) was so central a figure in Viennese literary life in the first decades of the 20th century that the great cultural historian Peter Gay titled his book on the development of bourgeois culture between the Battle […]

Read More

Annette T. Rubinstein and Progressive Secular Jewishness

by Gerald Meyer For information about a forum on Saturday, March 4 at the Vito Marcantonio Forum in New York, “Beloved Comrades: The Political and Personal Partnership of Annette T. Rubinstein and Vito Marcantonio,” with Gerald Meyer and Stephen Siciliano, click here. ANNETTE T. RUBINSTEIN, teacher, writer, and political activist, spent her entire life on […]

Read More

June 15: The Great Yiddish Critic

Shmuel Niger (Charney), a leading Yiddish literary critic who helped to launch the careers of Sholem Asch, Peretz Hirshbein, and Der Nister, among other Yiddish writers, was born into a khasidic family in the region of Minsk on this date in 1883. Coming into contact with leftwing Zionist ideas while preparing for rabbinical ordination at […]

Read More

December 22: Philip Rahv and Partisan Review

Ukrainian-born critic and essayist Philip Rahv (Feivel Greenberg), the co-founder in 1933 of Partisan Review, died at 65 in Cambridge, Massachusetts on this date in 1973. The journal he launched was originally a Communist publication, but broke with the Party line within five years of its founding, in reaction to the 1937 Moscow Trials, and […]

Read More

October 9: “Daniel Deronda”

The New York Times reviewed George Eliot’s proto-Zionist novel, Daniel Deronda, on this date in 1876, describing it as inferior to Eliot’s previous works, especially Middlemarch, but with a “Hebrew character” to whom “the author does full justice… a fact which we are pleased to notice in contrast to what, in the mildest language, we […]

Read More

April 23: George Steiner

Novelist, critic, and Renaissance man Francis George Steiner, author of the controversial novella The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. (1981), was born in Paris on this date in 1929. His parents were Viennese Jews who moved to France as soon as Nazism showed its face as a rising movement in Germany and Austria, then […]

Read More

June 20: The Literary Lioness of the Left

Annette T. Rubinstein, author of The Great Tradition in English Literature: From Shakespeare to Shaw and its companion, American Literature Root and Flower: Significant Poets, Novelists, and Dramatists, 1775-1955, died at 97 on this date in 2007. Rubinstein was a long-time educator in progressive learning institutions, most enduringly in the Brecht Forum in New York. […]

Read More