Thursday 28 January 2016


URAN GURALNIK (1921-1989)

            He was a literary researcher and critic, born in Vinitse (Vinnytsya), Ukraine.  He graduated from the local Jewish secondary school and later from the philology department of Moscow Pedagogical Institute.  In 1941 he went to the war front, and he later described those harsh war years in essays published in the Moscow journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland)—e.g., the sketches “An epizod fun a sakh” (An episode among many) 3 (1975), “Farn zig funem lebn” (For the goal of life) 8 (1975), and “Dos atakirndike vort” (The word to attack) 5 (1985), among others. After demobilization, starting in 1946, he worked in the Maxim Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow within the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.  He wrote scholarly research pieces on the history of Russian literature and criticism (primarily concerning the lives and works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, and Nikolay Dobrolyubov). He debuted in print in Yiddish with poems in the Kharkov children’s newspaper, Zay greyt (Get ready) in 1934 and, after the war, with articles in the Moscow newspaper Eynikeyt (Unity). In 1973 he published in Sovetish heymland an autobiographical story entitled “Nekhtn, haynt, morgn…” (Yesterday, today, tomorrow). In the same venue he published more than thirty articles about books, authors, issues involving literary life, interrelations between the classical Yiddish writers and Soviet literature with the literatures of other peoples, and new phenomena in world literature. He died in Moscow.

            In book form: Tife vortslen, literatur-kritishe forshungen (Deep roots, literary critical research) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1983), 64 pp.

Sources: Sovetish heymland, Materyaln far a leksikon fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Materials for a handbook of Soviet Jewish literature) (September 1975); Uriel Weinreich, Field of Yiddish (New York, 1954), p. 52.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 154; additional information from: 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), p. 79.

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