The Dybbuk and Other Writings

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Yale University Press, 2002 - History - 220 pages
2 Reviews
In 'The Dybbuk', S. Ansky (1863-1920) brings together the saga of his own youthful rebellion against religious authority, his abiding faith in the power of the simple folk, his utopian struggle for equality, and his newfound commitment to the Jewish people. Ansky had just returned from an epoch-making ethnographic expedition through the Yiddish heartland of Eastern Europe, and what he found in the towns and townlets of the Ukraine was a religious civilization that mediated the living and the dead, the strong and the weak, the natural and the supernatural. In his introduction to this volume, David G. Roskies reveals that Ansky's return to Mother Russia was accompanied by a profound renegotiation with his hasidic heritage, the Yiddish language, and the Jewish historical imagination.
 

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User Review  - Mishker - LibraryThing

A classic dramatic play that is a wonderful piece of Jewish literature along with other short stories and writings from S. Ansky. I enjoyed reading The Dybbuk, the premise mixed with the mysticism was very interesting. The other stories offered a nice window into the time period. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ibreak4books - LibraryThing

Great. It's interesting to read about time when social customs were so different, and yet I have come to the conclusion that nothing really changes. Read full review

Contents

In the Tavern
53
The Sins of Youth
70
Mendl Turk
93
Behind a Mask
118
Go Talk to a Goy
145
Excerpts from a Diary
209
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About the author (2002)

Born in a small town in Belorussia, Ansky studied in traditional Jewish schools and was also self-educated. His writing reflects his democratic ideas and love for the poor and underprivileged, which also prompted his interest in folk psychology and in folklore, its artistic reflection. Ansky gave a highly poetic and symbolic interpretation to a popular folk belief in his play The Dybbuk, which is the story of a dead soul that enters the body of a living person as a malevolent spirit. The play is a classic of Yiddish theater.

David G. Roskies is series editor of the New Yiddish Library and professor of Yiddish at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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