Bilingual Edition (English and Yiddish language text)
Translated by Fernando Peñalosa
Four Plays, by S. An-sky. Bilingual edition, translated by Fernando Peñalosa While The Dybbuk is the best known and most beloved of An-sky's works, he wrote a number of other plays of interest and value in the early 20th Century that have been virtually forgotten. Four of them, Day and Night, Father and Son, In a Conspiratorial Apartment, and The Grandfather, were included in his Collected Works, and are presented here for the modern reader with Yiddish and English on facing pages. Only Father and Son has been translated into English before, and it was of a different version. These texts feature modern Yiddish spelling and very readable typography and format, as do the translations. Day and Night is a Hasidic tragedy, reminiscent of The Dybbuk in a number of ways, but more violent in its depiction of the struggle between good and evil. The play goes back and forth between reality and fantasy and the reader is not always sure of what is happening. But the action moves along very fast; it's a real page turner. The other three plays deal with the lives of revolutionaries in the tumultuous period preceding the 1905 Russian Revolution. They are not plays about demonstrations, marches, and strikes, but rather depicts how the revolutionaries' activities impact the lives of their families as they struggle against the intrusion of the Tsarist authorities. They are labelled "comedies" by the author, but in the dictionary meaning of light, often satirical pieces that may have a happy ending. They are not at all funny, although there are some humorous episodes. viii, 327 pp., introduction, notes.
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