Spring 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1964 |

The Redeemers: Themes in the Fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Yiddish fiction seemed about to expire essentially as it emerged—provincial, often sentimental, and appreciated almost exclusively by those for whom it was written. The talents of its writers were, to be sure, varied, and in translation some of them, like Sholem Asch, made their way successfully into the book clubs. But invariably Yiddish writers borrowed their techniques and even many of their themes from the general traditions of the Western novel. In one way or another, however, all were keyed by the experience of the Enlightenment which presented the novelist and storyteller with his basic conflict, the pull toward freedom and Westernization on the one hand, and on the other the loyalty or sentimental attachment to the old values that kept the Jews together as a people. Now, in its twilight, Yiddish has produced a novelist whose approach is so radically different from his predecessors that the metamorphosis of this theme in his works suddenly seems to render it more universal

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

An Evening with Verena

By Hilary Corke

Yiddish fiction seemed about to expire essentially as it emerged—provincial, often sentimental, and appreciated almost exclusively by those for whom it was written. The talents of its writers were, to […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.