Yiddish Folktales

Yiddish Folktales

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by Beatrice Weinreich
     
 

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Filled with princesses and witches, dybbuks and wonder-working rebbes, the two hundred marvelous tales that make up this delightful compendium were gathered during the 1920s and 1930s by ethnographers in the small towns and villages of Eastern Europe. Collected from people of all walks of life, they include parables and allegories about life, luck, and wisdom;

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Overview

Filled with princesses and witches, dybbuks and wonder-working rebbes, the two hundred marvelous tales that make up this delightful compendium were gathered during the 1920s and 1930s by ethnographers in the small towns and villages of Eastern Europe. Collected from people of all walks of life, they include parables and allegories about life, luck, and wisdom; tales of magic and wonder; stories about rebbes and their disciples; and tales whose only purpose is to entertain. Long after the culture that produced them has disappeared, these enchanting Yiddish folktales continue to work their magic today.

Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As host of the National Public Radio series Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, I had the opportunity to rediscover the joys of Yiddish literature. Many of the translations that we used were taken from Schocken's excellent Library of Yiddish Classics—a series that brings together a body of work that is very much alive and continues to dazzle us with its brilliance, wit, and humanity."
—Leonard Nimoy

"Filled with homey Eastern European Yiddish truths refracted through the colorful prism of fantasy and fancy, Yiddish Folktales evokes the vitality of a distant yet immediate realm, and thus re-creates it."
The New York Times Book Review

"This gem of a collections open a breathtaking vista upon a vibrant world now lost to us."
—Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, New York University

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The repetitive nature, didacticism and brevity (some are a mere paragraph long) of its tales limits the appeal of this newest volume in Pantheon's Fairy Tale and Folklore Library; it has considerable value as a reference tool but not as an absorbing collection of short stories. Weinreich, a research associate at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, culls from YIVO's archives 178 examples of moral allegories, religious stories with ethical messages, children's, fairy and humorous tales, and legends of saints, villains and supernatural demons. Much here has a Jewish flavor: rabbis and Elijah the Prophet people stories set on Passover, Sukkoth or the Sabbath. But one is also struck by the similarity of many of these tales to those gathered by the Brothers Grimmreaders will wish for greater documentation of dates and sources and more analytical material comparing this work and its elements to others in the folklore genre, as well as discussing its place in Yiddish literature. (Nov).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805210903
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Series:
Library of Yiddish Classics
Edition description:
1ST SCHOCK
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
755,236
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.10(d)

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