Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Regulars: For if the world of American Yiddish writing

was small and beleaguered, the world of American Hebrew writing that Weingrad describes was practically non-existent. During World War I, Weingrad points out, "the Yiddish daily press in the United States reached a peak circulation . . . of more than six hundred thousand," whereas Hadoar, the leading Hebrew periodical in America, "had a circulation of about nine thousand to twelve thousand." By the end of World War II, the number of important Hebrew writers in America could be counted on the fingers of one hand; when the last of them, the poet Gabriel Preil, died in 1993, "the story of the immigrant Hebraists and the literature they created in America came to an end."

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Alternate Route


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