Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)
ph_0111207056-Asch.jpg Sholem Asch Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Although Sholem Asch (ahsh) is remembered chiefly as a novelist, much of his early work consists of dramas. When Der Got fun Nekome (pr. 1907; The God of Vengeance, 1918) was performed on Yiddish stages in Russia and Poland, Max Reinhardt, who understood Yiddish, decided to produce it at the Deutsche Theater. This was the first time that a Yiddish work had appeared in the international literature. This play, in which a brothel owner purchases a Torah to place in his daughter’s room, hoping it will protect her from the impurities in the apartment below, was widely condemned as sacrilegious. Many other dramas followed, including adaptations of such novels as Mottke the Thief, which enjoyed considerable success on Yiddish stages.

Asch also published From Many Countries: The Collected Stories of Sholem Asch (1958) and other collections of short fiction, as well as an autobiographical essay, What I Believe (1941), in which he reacted to criticism levied against him by the Jewish community.