''Gimpel the Fool,'' which first appeared in English translation in a 1953 edition of the Partisan Review, is considered one of Isaac Bashevis Singer's most notable and representative works of short fiction. Singer wrote the story, as he did most of his early works, in Yiddish, and its Jewish themes of the individual's search for faith and guidance in a cruel world are explored in a parable form with exaggerated details common to folktales. Noted Jewish-American writer Saul Bellow translated the story into English, as he did many of Singer's early works, thus introducing him to a wide audience for the first time, even though Singer had been writing for many years. The character of Gimpel has been praised by critics as an example of the "schlemiel"— a foolish, unlucky man—common to Jewish lore, whose follies are delineated in order to present a moral lesson. Set in the imaginary village of Frampol, the story centers on Gimpel, a baker, who is continuously heckled and tricked by those around him. Since its publication, critical reaction to "Gimpel the Fool'' has been positive, with most reviewers praising its blend of tradition, spiritualism, and realism.