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The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky Paperback – September 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0300092509 ISBN-10: 0300092504

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Product Details

  • Series: New Yiddish Library Series
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300092504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300092509
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An altogether excellent anthology, this volume offers a superior introduction to the brilliant, brooding works of a Yiddish master. Ansky, pseudonym of Lithuanian-born Solomon Rappoport (1863-1920), earned a place in literature with his great drama The Dybbuk . But as Roskies's unusually informative introduction demonstrates, the author had a turbulent relationship to his Jewish heritage and wrote under a raft of pen names before finding his true literary voice. As Ansky, he taps a source previously neglected by other great Yiddish writers: "folklore as the wellspring of Jewish cultural renewal." The title work, for example, evokes the mystical underpinnings of shtetl life, with its rituals of possession and exorcism. The seven stories and novellas collected here focus more intently on tensions between the sacred and the secular, between the pious and the maskilimper book (supporters of the Jewish Enlightenment)--tensions that often border on violence. Finally, a lengthy excerpt from a four-volume chronicle of WW I, The Destruction of Galicia , offers a grim reminder of the long history and virulence of Eastern European anti-Semitism. Roskies is a professor of Yiddish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Yiddish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on June 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
A Dybbuk is a haunting and beautiful and haunting combination between a love story and a ghost story, growing out of the tradition of Yiddish theatre.

The main story revolves around a young rabbinical student, Channon, whose beloved and promised bride, Leah, is denied to him, because of his poverty. He dies as a result of his misuse of the holy texts of the Kabbalah. His soul invades the body of his intended bride, as a Dybbuk - which is a spirit in Jewish mythology that invades other people's bodies. When he is exorcised from Leah's body, she makes a pact with her beloved to unite her soul with his spirit, and so she departs the earth too- so strong was the love of Leah and Channon that their spirits would not be kept from each other even in death.

This volume contains some of the richest treasures of old Yiddish mythology and literature , much of it involving rich Chassidic mysticism.
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By Majanka on April 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All right, so I’m probably one of the few people who hadn’t heard of S. Ansky before reading this collection. Shame on me, I know. Anyway, The Dybbuk is actual a theatre play based on a folklore story S. Ansky gathered info for during his travels. The story is about a young bride who is possessed by a dybbuk – this can best be compared to an evil spirit, or demon. Her name is Leah’le, and she went to the graveyard before her wedding day, where not only she invited her mother’s spirit to attend the marriage, but also the spirits of a young couple who were murdered before their wedding could be consummated. She’s also drawn to one other grave, that of Hannan, a young scholar who as in love with her, and wanted her hand in marriage, but was refused so by her father.

Leah’le comes back from the graveyard a changed woman. A local sage tries to exorcise the Dybbuk who has possessed her, but fails, and is forced to call in the help of the rabbi. The rabbi decides that Leah’le’s father must appear before the court of rabbis, apparently upon the request of the spirit of Hannan’s father. What follows is a trial half debated in the world of the living, and half in the spirit world.

It’s certainly an intriguing story, and I wished I could’ve seen the actual play. This sounds right up my alley. I enjoyed reading it here though, but it must’ve been even more intriguing to see it on stage.

This collection also features other stories by S. Ansky, but the Dybbuk was by far the most notable one. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, mysticism and paranormal stories, then you’ll probably enjoy The Dybbuk and Other Writings.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlene A-Terre on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book was received without hassle in very good condition and all-in-all the whole process was easy. This served its purpose far a class this semester and it is a book that I will probably not use again but it was a pleasant read.
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