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Stempenyu: A Jewish Romance

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Even the most pious Jew need not shed so many tears over the destruction of Jerusalem as the women were in the habit of shedding when Stempenyu was playing.

The first work of Sholom Aleichem’s to be translated into English—this long out-of-print translation is the only one ever done under Aleichem’s personal supervision—Stempenyu is a prime example of the author’ s hallmark
Paperback, 150 pages
Published December 14th 2007 by Melville House (first published 1888)
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Oana Kovacs
Oct 02, 2013 Oana Kovacs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trecand peste faptul ca titlul este fie o subtilitate, fie o bizarerie, mi-a placut extrem de mult cartea. Scrisa simplu, fara expresii pompoase si fara personaje iesite din comun.
Si cu un final de bun simt.
Spolers ahead:
Stempeniu, un muzicant vestit se indragosteste de Rohele. Doar ca si el si ea sunt casatoriti. Desi o curteaza, singura lor intalnire este una scurta, in cadrul careia Rohele il roaga frumos sa o lase in pace.
Rohele si sotul ei parasesc casa parinteasca a lui si se muta intr-un
Jul 08, 2008 Rissie rated it really liked it
I give this book four stars and a warning to other readers.

First the four stars. I really liked this story.

Second the warning. This edition is riddled with spelling errors. Very annoying.
Amy Marshall
Jan 04, 2014 Amy Marshall rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at Aardvark Books in San Francisco during a recent trip. I'd just finished a downer of a book and was looking for something...better. When I read the back flap about Mark Twain's respect and admiration for this writer, I knew I had to give it a go.
I wasn't disappointed. Well, I was. Because it's a novella and, by definition, short, it didn't last all the way home from San Francisco and I found myself without a book to read.
THIS, though, was great fun! Originally published in 188
Dec 10, 2008 Rachel rated it liked it
Apparently even classic Jewish authors write about Jewish women as money-obsessed, shrewish nags. Huh.
Nov 30, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it
The comic tale of the love of the fickle, but talented fiddler Stempenyu for the beautiful Rochalle, the wife of Moshe-Mendel, the son of a wealthy merchant, and the angst that it caused them. Aleichem’s parody of a romantically tragic love tale is set in late nineteenth century Ukraine, then a part of the Russian Empire, among its Jewish inhabitants. It’s filled with hilariously sarcastic spats among the characters, and the sardonic commentary of their neighbors and in-laws, along with a few by ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious. It is so funny, it's unbelievable it was written in the 1880s. There are so many jokes, you can't believe it. It's like your nebbishe aunt and uncle having a conversation, mamish. The ending is just perfect. Everything you need in a Jewish romance, literally everything-no more and no less.
Nov 12, 2014 Victor rated it really liked it
Ótimo livro. Um pouco repetitivo em alguns momentos, nos diálogos e descrição de cenário e personagens. Apesar disso, a história foi suficientemente interessante para manter o interesse no livro. Sobre amor e paixão, sobre o medo e sobre Sansão e Dalila, sim, aquele dos longos cabelos cuja força é castrada numa distração.
Carol Goulart
Jan 28, 2015 Carol Goulart rated it it was amazing
" The heart itself is like a fiddle; the Jewish heart, I mean, of course."
This story is light and simple and all its beauty comes from it - there is a balance for humor and sorrow, very characteristic of the author. It's a must read of Sholem Aleichem.
Aug 16, 2014 Laiane rated it it was ok
It was light and entertaining, with many great passages about how our emotions translate into physical sensations -- anxiety of meeting a lover, feeling stifled in a crowded home, agitation in love. Not a great book, but an okay book.
Melville House Publishing
This beautifully packaged series of classic novellas includes the works of Anton Chekhov, Colette, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Leo Tolstoy. These collectible editions are the first single-volume publications of these classic tales, offering a closer look at this underappreciated literary form and providing a fresh take on the world's most celebrated authors.
Jul 27, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
Fine novella written by a master. Obviously dated and oft copied in plot and characters. Must lose a lot in translation. Can see how his characters have become stereotypical templates for later writers. The plot while being decidedly one dimensional does capture the conduct of some of us, mere mortals.
Francesco Esposito
Mar 14, 2013 Francesco Esposito rated it it was ok
an artist should not write a moralistic story like this. The moral of the story: it's better an arranged marriage than an infatuation... Don't brake the rules imposed over you by someone else... whatever. I would choose Stempenyu a thousand times over the rich husband.
Aug 19, 2014 Lynecia rated it liked it
What an odd, amusing, comical little book!

Dec 29, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
This is a lot of fun, but not a good introduction to Aleichem. It is both like and unlike his work. The wry tone is there, but the humor is in the background.
Serena Spencer-jones
Hmmm an interesting read for me a non-Jew, but a lover of Fiddler on the Roof the play and the music - I will read more of this author.
Maggie Carttar
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Jewish writer, Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916), who wrote under the pen name of Sholem Aleichem (Hebrew for "peace be upon you").

From 1883 on, Sholem Aleichem produced over forty volumes in Yiddish, thereby becoming a central figure in Yiddish literature by 1890.

Sholem Aleichem's narratives were notable for the naturalness of his characters' speech and the accuracy of his descriptions of shtetl lif
More about Sholem Aleichem...

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