Singer Memoir on CD

By Ariella Cohen

Published August 05, 2005, issue of August 05, 2005.

The Forward Association (publisher of the Forward) recently released a two-disc recording of Nobel Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer’s 1966 memoir, “In My Father’s Court” — in Yiddish.

Originally serialized in the Yiddish Forward over the course of seven months in 1955, Singer’s reminiscences were published under the pseudonym “Isaac Warshawsky.” The simply told story, the tale of a childhood spent as a rabbi’s son in Poland, was adapted by the Yiddish Forward’s current editor, Boris Sandler, and read by Yiddish actor David Rogow.

Earlier this year, in a nod to his famous predecessor, Sandler, himself a writer of Yiddish fiction, began to serialize his own latest novel in the pages of the Yiddish Forward.

Run on page 10 of the Yiddish weekly, Sandler’s semi-autobiographical “The 36 Righteous Men of My Mind” is a story about a man who works each day at the Yiddish Forward and commutes home each evening on the subway, where, gazing at his dingy surroundings, “he dreams his way back to his childhood in Russia.”

Called in Yiddish “Lamed Vovniks Fun Moyn Zikozn,” the story derives its title from the kabbalistic notion that every generation holds a total of 36 righteous men on whom the rest of humanity depends to keep the world ordered properly.

Asked if Singer was among his influences, Sandler instead pointed to two other Nobelists: William Faulkner and Heinrich Böll. “Singer,” the Russian émigré said, “was censored.”

Before adapting “In My Father’s Court” for CD, Sandler aired the story on “Forverts Hour,” the weekly radio show that he hosts and edits.

When asked if he would consider recording “Lamed Vovniks Fun Moyn Zikozn” on CD, he smiled and moved toward the bookshelf. “Already have,” he said.



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