ZSHID: AN ERTSEHLUNG זשיד: אן ערצעהלונג

Nyu York [New York]: A. Hillman, 1904. Paper Wrappers. Item #41997

1st Yiddish Edition. Original Green printed wrappers, 12mo, 86 pages, 17 cm. In Yiddish. Title translates as, “Jew: An Explanation.” Part of the Folks-bibliyothek series. A novel, translated from the Russian by H. Aleksandrov. Grigorii Aleksandrovich Machtet (1852-1901) was a “popular author in a great age of Russian literature, described what he saw during his year-long residence and travels in Kansas for an audience in Russia”….He and 2 others together “departed for America in the summer of 1872….Besides the twenty-year old Machtet, who took the name of George Mansted upon arrival, were the teacher Roman’ko-Romanovskii and Ivan Rechitskii, a former government clerk. They frst spent several weeks in the rather turbulent Russian community in New York, which included socialists and Christians, Jews and gentiles, and Poles and Ukrainians, as well as Russians. Then they set of for west, apparently having received fnancial [sic] support, as they subsequently referred to themselves as the ‘Western Branch of the New York Russian Circle for Mutual Aid’ (Norman Saul in Journal of Russian American Studies 5.2, November 2021). “Upon his return to St. Petersburg, Machtet participated in the Narodnik (Populist) revolutionary movement. In 1876 he was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress; he was in domestic exile until 1885. Machtet began to publish prose fiction in 1873. He also wrote travel sketches (the collection Traveling Far and Wide published in 1889). Machtet’s fiction (short stories drawn from Siberian life, including 'Another Truth,' 'A Mundane Affair,' and 'An Assessor’s Dream,' as well as the novella The Prodigal Son, 1881, published in 1887) is characterized by a Narodnik idealization of the peasants’ everyday life combined with sharp criticism of the regime of oppression and force. Vital issues of the period are treated in his novella A Man With a Design (1886), the novel At Dawn (1892-93), and other works, the best of which is the novel One Can Fight Alone, Too (1886, the original title of which was From the Past Which Cannot Return), revealing the dramatic fate of a village of serfs. Machtet is the author of the famous revolutionary song 'Succumbed to the Ordeal of Imprisonment' ('The Last Farewell'), written about the student Chernyshev, who had died in prison” (S. A. Rozanova in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, 1970-1979). For more on Machtet see Mikhailovskii, N. K. Poslednie sochineniia, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1905. Pages 54-55. OCLC: 1011223506. OCLC lists 3 copies worldwide (UCLA, NYBC, YIVO), none at any Ivy League Institution. Original wrappers, edgeworn and crudely repaired with transparent tape, paper and binding remain bright and strong, Very Good Condition thus. A rare 1st Yiddish edition of a Jewish novel by a leading non-Jewish Russian writer with Kansas connections! (YID-42-31-’+).

Price: $350.00

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