Professor Ruth Wisse speaks about Sholem Aleichem’s viciousness when writing about defectors from Judaism. Wisse recounts the stories “The Man from Buenos Aires,” and “The Tenth Man” as examples of Aleichem’s viciousness.
Professor Ruth Wisse argues that the story of Tevye is the closest to writing an autobiography that Sholem Aleichem ever came. Through the story, readers bear witness to the generational conflicts Jews faced through the experiences of Tevye’s daughters.
Professor Ruth Wisse speaks about the monumental importance of Peretz to Yiddish literature and to Polish Jewry. Peretz was invested in Polish Jewry with “all his life and being” and Wisse goes as far as to say that Peretz’s fate was tied to the fate of Polish Jewry.
Professor Ruth Wisse describes the bleakness and childlessness of Singer’s post-Holocaust works. Singer was a person who “saw his world utterly destroyed and who really came to grips with the human forces that had destroyed that society.”
Professor Ruth Wisse discusses I.B. Singer’s ideological beliefs, and particularly his disdain for humanism. Wisse notes that these beliefs are expressed through many of the characters in Singer’s literary works.
Professor Ruth Wisse considers Bergelson’s move to the Soviet Union in 1933, reflecting on his belief that “the only place where a Yiddish writer can be championed, lionized…can be sustained by the surrounding culture is in the Soviet Union.”