From Our Springtime: Literary Memoirs and Portraits of Yiddish New York
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Imprint: Syracuse University Press
Published: August 2021
256 Pages, 152.00 x 228.00 mm, 13 black and white
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In New York in 1907, a group of avant-garde Yiddish poets came together to transform Yiddish literature. Seeking a pure artistic expression, they would rid Yiddish poetry of foreign influences and overbearing political and religious rhetoric. Although influenced by their Eastern European heritage, these poets were uniquely American in their focus on exploring the individual. Calling themselves Di Yunge (The young ones), this group was led in part by Reuben Iceland. From Our Springtime is Iceland’s memoir as well as a reflection on the lives of the Di Yunge poets. With its vivid characters, beautifully crafted descriptions, and snippets of poetry, this book is a work of art in its own right and an essential resource for anyone interested in Yiddish American poetry.
Translated into English for the first time, From Our Springtime brings this period in New York literary history to life and tells the story of how these poets transformed Yiddish poetry from an expression of working-class struggles to a form of Yiddish high art.
Marcus’s translation is a critical contribution to our appreciation of New York as a global, multilingual literary center in the first decades of the twentieth century, and of ways in which Yiddish writers contributed to the multicultural expansion of American letters. Justin Cammy, coeditor of Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Literature and Culture in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse
Gerald Marcus has done us a great favor in his fine translation of Reuben Iceland, a most important figure in the American Yiddish literary world for decades. Jules Chametzky, coeditor of Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology
Gerald Marcus gives the reader a clear, compelling translation of a passionate man. . . .This memoir is a significant source for research on Yiddish literature in America. Highly recommended for collections focused on Yiddish. AJL News and Reviews