Tuesday, 7 March 2017

ZALMEN LIBINZON

ZALMEN LIBINZON (1918-1992)
            He was born in Dibrovne (Dubrowna), Byelorussia.  He graduated in 1938 from the Yiddish department of Moscow Pedagogical Institute named for Lenin.  He received his doctorate in philology; his dissertation was on “Playwriting in the Era of ‘Storm and Stress’ in German Literature.”  He debuted in Yiddish in the daily newspaper Der emes (The truth) in Moscow.  In 1941 he volunteered to serve on the front.  After the war, he worked primarily on classical German literature.  In 1972 he received a professorial position at the pedagogical institute in the city of Gorky (now, Nizhny-Novgorod).  He showed little interest, though, in Yiddish literature.  He later published articles on German literature but with links to Jewish culture, such as: “Gete un di yidishe kultur” (Goethe and Jewish culture), “Di tragedye un der tryumf fun stefan tvayg” (The tragedy and triumph of Stefan Zweig), “Af di shpurn fun moyshe mendelson” (In the tracks of Moses Mendelssohn), and on the work of Gottfried Lessing and Leon Feuchtwanger.  From 1979 he published literary criticism and scholarly articles in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow.  In the 1980s he wrote principally on Yiddish literature, both the classical authors and the contemporary ones.  In 1986 on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mendele Moykher-Sforim, he published in Sovetish heymland a series of articles on Mendele.  In book form: A gilgl fun a lid (A metamorphosis of a poem) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985), 62 pp.

Source: See the preface to his book.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 328-29; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 200-1.]


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