Tuesday 2 February 2016


SHMUEL DAYKSEL (December 1886-May 16, 1975)
            He was storyteller, born in Kishinev.  He studied in religious elementary school and in the crown Jewish public school.  He carried out revolutionary propaganda in Odessa, Nikolaev, and other cities.  In 1911 he departed for the United States, where he worked in tailoring and later with a chiropractor.  He wrote at first in Russian newspapers, later switching to Yiddish.  He debuted in print with a story in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), and he published there further, as well as in Tsukunft (Future), Morgn frayhayt (Morning freedom), Yidishe ultur (Jewish culture), and Zamlungen (Anthologies)—in New York, and elsewhere.  Among his books: Di vegn in nebl, dertseylungen (The roads in a haze, stories), vol. 1 (New York: Funken, 1923), 254 pp.; Azyatishe dertseylungen (Asian stories), vol. 2 (New York: Funken, 1924), 256 pp.; Zayn mayestet un andere noveln (My majesty and other stories), vol. 3 (New York: Frayhayt, 1925), 253 pp.; Der tsorn fun der erd, a masn-shpil (The wrath of the earth, a mass play) (New York: Funken, 1929), 95 pp.; 10 eynakters (Ten one-act plays), vol. 4 (New York: Frayhayt, 1935), 255 pp.; Mayne lebns, noveln un dertseylungen (My lives, novellas and stories), vol. 5 (New York: Signal, 1940), 256 pp.; Barg aroyf, dertseylungen (Uphill, stories), vol. 6 (New York, 1957; New York: Bukh-komitet, 1959), 281 pp.  “Dayksel excels as a fine storyteller concerning curious people and exciting experiences,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen.  “He loved to depict the sorrow, the emptiness that originated in an awkward way of the world, in a difficult and dark biological-psychological inheritance.”  He died in New York.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 197.

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