The Crackpot Ideas of Yiddish Fiction's Most Improbable Scenarios Become Real https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/politics-current-affairs/2021/09/the-crackpot-ideas-of-yiddish-fictions-most-improbable-scenarios-become-real/

S. Ansky’s radical yeshiva boys used to seem unreal. But observing today’s political scene has taught me to understand them.

September 9, 2021 | Ruth R. Wisse
About the author: Ruth R. Wisse is a Mosaic columnist, professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, will be published in September.

S. Ansky. Via Yiddishkayt.

When I began reading Yiddish literature in the 1960s, I came across a scenario so improbable that I wondered whether any such thing could actually have occurred. The work was “Behind a Mask” by S. Ansky (best known as the author of The Dybbuk), and the fictive incident was presumably based on his own observations as a budding revolutionary in Russia in the 1880s.

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now