Isaac Bashevis Singer (essay date May 1995)
SOURCE: Singer, Isaac Bashevis. “Concerning Yiddish Literature in Poland (1943).” Prooftexts 15, no. 2 (May 1995): 113-27.
[In the following essay, Singer recounts the growth of Yiddish literature in Poland, making a close connection between the Jewish way of life and the writing it inspired.]
The Jewish Shtetl in Poland did not experience the Haskalah, or Enlightenment, at the same time or in the same evolutionary form as did Russia and Lithuania. Until 1914 the majority of Jewish market towns in Poland were traditionally pious. Life went on as it had a hundred years before. In the larger, and even smaller, cities there were isolated Maskilim—adherents of the...
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