The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son

The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son

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by Sholem Aleichem
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0300172486

ISBN-13: 9780300172485

Pub. Date: 08/01/2002

Publisher: Yale University Press

This volume presents an outstanding new translation of two favorite comic novels by the preeminent Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916). The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl portrays a tumultuous marriage through letters exchanged between the title character, an itinerant bumbler seeking his fortune in the cities of Russia before departing alone for

Overview

This volume presents an outstanding new translation of two favorite comic novels by the preeminent Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916). The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl portrays a tumultuous marriage through letters exchanged between the title character, an itinerant bumbler seeking his fortune in the cities of Russia before departing alone for the New World, and his scolding wife, who becomes increasingly fearful, jealous, and mystified. Motl, Peysi the Cantor's Son is the first-person narrative of a mischievous and keenly observant boy who emigrates with his family from Russia to America. The final third of the story takes place in New York, making this Sholem Aleichem's only major work to be set in the United States.

Motl and Menakhem-Mendl are in one sense opposites--the one a clear-eyed child and the other a pathetically deluded adult. Yet both are ideal conveyors of the comic disparity of perception on which humor depends. If Motl sees more than do others around him, Menakhem-Mendl has an almost infinite capacity for seeing less. Sholem Aleichem endows each character with an individual comic voice to tell in his own way the story of the collapse of traditional Jewish life in modern industrial society as well as the journey to America, where a new chapter of Jewish history begins. This volume includes a biographical and critical introduction as well as a useful glossary for English-language readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300172485
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2002
Series:
New Yiddish Library Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introductionvii
The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl
Londons: The Odessa Exchange3
Stocks & Bonds: The Yehupetz Exchange19
Millions: Traders, Agents, and Speculators38
An Honorable Profession: Menakhem-Mendl Becomes a Writer72
It's No Go: Menakhem-Mendl the Matchmaker83
Always a Loser: Menakhem-Mendl the Insurance Agent96
Motl, the Cantor's Son
Part One105
Part Two237
Notes319

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The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
PriscillaTan2 More than 1 year ago
There’s something magical about exchanging letters. Having had penpals for the last ten years, I’m always captivated by this intimate method of communication- which is why I picked up The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor’s Son during my visit to NetGalley. Boy, was I startled when I found out that this book was published in 2002. Personally, I have an ambivalence feeling with this book. The bad news is that there’s hardly any action in this book. I was basically yawning through the letters exchanged between the title characters. The good news? It gets riveting during the first-person narrative of Motl, Peysi the Cantor’s Son. There are holes in the plot, but I find The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor’s Son to be intellectually invigorating. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of my honest review through NetGalley.