The Canvas and Other Stories by Salomea Perl, Translated by Ruth Murphy
Yiddish Literature in Translation
Parallel text in Yiddish and English is a great learning tool for Yiddish language learners.
Introduction by Dr. Justin Cammy, literary and cultural historian, Professor of Jewish Studies and World Literature at Smith College.
The Canvas and Other Stories by Salomea Perl is a bilingual Yiddish-English text featuring the only known stories Perl wrote and published in the various Yiddish newspapers of her time. Uncovered after two years of research and translated by Ruth Murphy, the book presents the original Yiddish text and English translation in a side-by-side format. Murphy’s translations present Perl’s voice to English readers, while Perl’s rich, authentic Yiddish brings readers back to the Jewish, Yiddish-speaking streets of turn-of-the-century Poland.
The insightful introduction by Justin Cammy gives the historical background of both the text and its author.
“The publication here of all seven known stories by Salomea Perl is not only important because it marks the rediscovery of a forgotten Yiddish writer. It also allows us to consider her unsentimental portraits of a Jewish world in transition. Her stories reveal deep class divisions and the prevalence of Jewish poverty. She investigates how the religious values that guided everyday life often lacked compassion for lived experience. Perl explores the social and cultural ruptures caused by internal migration from small towns to big cities, and new manifestations of secular Jewish identity associated with modern life."
About the translator:
Ruth Murphy is a published and peer-reviewed professional translator specializing in the research and translation of Yiddish literature, historical documents and yizkor (memorial) books.
Ben Yehuda Press, 2021