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Thu, Jan 21


Online event via Zoom

Meet the Translator: Sasha Senderovich Presents Judgment by David Bergelson

Translated from Yiddish by Sasha Senderovich (University of Washington) and Harriet Murav (University of Illinois).

Meet the Translator: Sasha Senderovich Presents Judgment by David Bergelson
Meet the Translator: Sasha Senderovich Presents Judgment by David Bergelson

Time & Location

Jan 21, 2021, 6:00 PM PST

Online event via Zoom

About the Event

Never before available in English, Judgment is a work of startling power by David Bergelson (1884-1952), the most celebrated Yiddish prose writer of his era and a literary modernist. Set in 1920 during the Russian Civil War, Judgment (titled Mides-hadin in Yiddish) traces the death of the shtetl and the birth of the “new, harsher world” created by the 1917 Russian Revolution. As Bolshevik power expanded toward the border between Poland and Ukraine, Jews and non-Jews smuggled people, goods, and anti-Bolshevik literature back and forth. In the novel’s fictional town of Golikhovke, the Bolsheviks have established their local outpost in a former monastery, where the non-Jewish Filipov acts as the arbiter of "judgment" and metes out punishments and executions to the prisoners held there: Yuzi Spivak, arrested for anti-Bolshevik activities; Aaron Lemberger, a pious and wealthy Jew; a seductive woman referred to as "the blonde" who believes she can appease Filipov with sex; and a memorable cast of toughs, smugglers, and criminals. Ordinary people, depicted in a grotesque, aphoristic style—comparable to Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry—confront the overwhelming, mysterious forces of history, whose ultimate outcome remains unknown.

About Sasha Senderovich

Sahsa is an assistant professor of Russian, Jewish, and international studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has published on Soviet Jewish culture and literature, as well as on contemporary fiction by émigré Russian Jewish writers in America. He is a translator, together with Harriet Murav, of David Bergelson's Yiddish-language novel Judgment; he is in the early stages of undertaking, also in collaboration with Harriet Murav, a translation project of a multi-author collection of short stories, from Russian and Yiddish, written by Soviet Jewish authors after World War II. His book How the Soviet Jew Was Made is forthcoming (Harvard University Press, 2022)

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  • Folio & NOTIS Members

    +$0.13 service fee
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  • General Admission

    +$0.25 service fee
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