A Binṭele blumen, Abraham Goldfaden, New York 1899 (50052)

בינטעלע בלומען

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50052
Title (English): A Binṭele blumen
Title (Hebrew): א בינטעלע בלומען: אין פיער טהיילען
Author: Abraham Goldfaden
City: New York
Publisher: J. Katznelenbogen
Publication Date: 1899
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

6, 8, 12, 32 pp., octavo, 200:138 mm., nice margins, usual age staining. A good copy bound in the original paper wrappers.

 

Detail Description

 

Abraham Goldfaden, (1840–1908), Yiddish poet, dramatist, and composer, father of the Yiddish theater .Born in Staro Konstantinov, Ukraine, he received not only a thorough Hebrew education but also acquired a knowledge of Russian, German, and secular subjects. To avoid the draft, Goldfaden was sent to a government school at 15 and there came under the influence of his teacher Abraham Ber Gottlober, a Hebrew writer who was also a lover of Yiddish. Graduation from this school in 1857 permitted Goldfaden to enter the rabbinical seminary at Zhitomir, which trained rabbis, teachers, and Jewish officials for government service. Under the guidance of sympathetic teachers, including such leaders of the Haskalah movement as E. Z. Zweifel, H. S. Slonimsky, and Gottlober, he was encouraged to compose Hebrew lyrics. The first of these were published in 1862 in Ha-Meliz. A year later Goldfaden's first Yiddish poems appeared in Kol Mevasser. In 1865 Goldfaden published a booklet of his Hebrew songs Zizim u-Ferahim. In 1866, the year of his graduation as a teacher, his first collection of Yiddish songs Dos Yudele offered rich material for badhanim and folksingers. It was followed by a supplementary booklet Di Yudene (1869). In 1875 he joined a former classmate Isaac Joel Linetzki in founding and editing in Lemberg a short-lived humorous magazine Der Alter Yisrolik. Goldfaden then went to Rumania where he came in contact in Jassy with the Broder Singers, who were singing and acting out Yiddish songs, including his own, in wine cellars and restaurant gardens. He then conceived the idea that the dramatic effect of the songs and impersonations could be heightened if they would be combined with prose dialogues and woven into an interesting plot. He gathered a few singers and rehearsed with them scenarios composed by himself. The first performances in October 1876 initiated the professional Yiddish theater. Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception accorded his performances in Jassy, Goldfaden engaged wandering minstrels and cantors' assistants as additional actors, toured other Rumanian cities, including Bucharest, and then went to Odessa. By 1880 his troupe was giving performances throughout Russia and his phenomenal success was encouraging theatrical ventures by other enterprising actors and librettists. The Yiddish theater expanded and flourished until 1883, when the Russian government, fearing this new mass medium, banned performances in Yiddish. This action compelled authors, actors, and producers to migrate to other lands. Yiddish theaters were established in Paris, London, and New York. In 1887 Goldfaden was invited by some of his actors who had moved to New York to join them, but when he arrived he encountered severe competition from producers who had preceded him and from scriptwriters who were even more prolific than he. He found Europe more congenial and returned to produce and direct performances of his plays in London, Paris, and Lemberg. He returned to the United States in 1903 and spent his last five years in New York.

Of Goldfaden's early plays, the most successful were Shmendrik (1877), a satirical comedy whose title-hero became a synonym for a gullible, good-natured person; Der Fanatik oder di Tsvey Kuni Lemels (1880), a Yiddish parallel to MoliIre's satiric comedy Les prMcieuses ridicules. The last two plays maintained their stage popularity uninterruptedly for many decades and were readapted for Israel audiences of the mid-1960s and Tsvey Kuni Lemels was adapted into a film in Israel (English title: The Flying Matchmaker). Goldfaden's more serious dramas began with the 1880s, a tragic decade for Russian Jewry. The romantic operetta Shulamis (1880) which represented the transition from his earlier period to his later one, alternated between gaiety and tragedy. In Doctor Almosado (1882), he reacted to the pogroms of 1881 and even though he transposed the scene of the dramatic action to 14th-century Palermo, his audience sensed its timeliness and its veiled references to their sad plight. In Bar Kochba (1887), an historical musical depicting the last desperate revolt of the Jews against their Roman oppressors, Goldfaden, an adherent of the Hovevei Zion movement, tried to stir his people with visions of ancient national grandeur and heroism. After Herzl's death, Goldfaden wrote his last play Ben Ami (1907), premiered a few days before his own death. It was to a large extent an adaption of George Eliot's Zionist novel Daniel Deronda, but the action was transposed to pogrom-ridden Odessa and the English aristocrat who admired the Jewish people was transformed into a Russian baron. The play ended with the pogrom victims and their noble savior experiencing regeneration as pioneers of Jewish national redemption on the soil of Zion.

Despite their slight literary value, many of Goldfaden's 60 plays - not all of them published - continued to be adapted by actors and producers and entered into the permanent repertoire of the Yiddish theater. His characters from Schmendrik and Kuni Lemel to Hotzmakh, the good-natured peddler, and Bobbe Yakhne, the malevolent witch, have been real figures to several generations of theatergoers.

 

Hebrew Description:

א בינטעלע בלומען: אין פיער טהיילען

[א]. אלע ליעדער פון עקידת יצחק / פון א. גאלדפאדען.

[ב]. געוועהלטע קופלעטען און פאלקס-לידער / פון מאקס אווראמאוויץ.

[ג]. אלע ליעדער פון כוזרי מוזיק פון זיגמונד מאגולעסקא./ פון פראפ. הורוויץ

[ד]. פאלקס לידער / פון א' צונזער.

 

Reference:

EJ; Singerman 4953