Sunday 27 September 2015


            He was known by the name Al. Gurye, born in Radom, Poland.  His father was a teacher of Russian in the local crown school, who remained traditionally devout and cultivated in his children a love for Yiddish language and literature.  Grafshteyn studied in religious primary school, secular subjects with private tutors, and at age eighteen he received a teacher’s diploma.  In 1909 he published for the first time a story in Lebn un visnshaft (Life and science) in Vilna.  In 1913 he emigrated to the United States.  In New York, he was close to the group “Yunge” (Young).  He published poems and stories in: Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tageblat (Daily newspaper), Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Tog (Day), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Varhayt (Truth), Tsayt (Time), Natur un vunder (Nature and wonder), Frayhayt (Freedom), Forshrit (Progress), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), In-zikh (Introspective), Tsukunft (Future), Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), and Inzl (Island), Zishe Landau’s Antologye (Anthology), Di feder (The pen), Dos vort (The word), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Der kundes (The prankster)—all in New York; and Kritik (Crtic) in Vienna, among others.  He also wrote a four-act dramatic poem entitled Fun beyde zaytn vant (From both sides of the wall).  His stories depict the confusion among people, a kind of internal fear of reality and at the same time a striving to escape from oneself.  He was living in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Der Lebediker, in Poezye (Poetry), a collection (New York, 1919); A. Glants-Leyeles, in In-zikh (New York) 54 (1939).

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