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The Shadows of Berlin: The Berlin Stories of Dovid Bergelson

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Shadows of Berlin is, in part, a bleak chronicle of life in Europe growing ever more hostile at the edge of World War II, part mythic parable. Bergelson’s stories—passionate, honest, dark and often hilarious—hint at the possibility of redemption even as they suggest a horror just around the corner.Dovid Bergelson (1884–1952) is considered to be one of the best Soviet Yiddi ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by City Lights Publishers
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Cheryl
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories was the first book I purchased at City Lights in San Francisco. A true treasure to add to my personal library! Melancholic Yiddish tales, yes. Hopeful sentiment, no. Just knowing what historically lies ahead for Eastern Europe between the two World Wars and how Bergelson was murdered by Stalin's regime on The Night of the Murdered Poets adds to the ever graying mood of The Berlin Stories.
Jennifer
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The most interesting thing about this book, IMO, was the history of the author. David Bergelson lived in Berlin during the 1920's. During that time it was a place of exile for Yiddish intellectuals. He eventually returned to Russia thinking that Yiddish culture would thrive in the communist state. Unfortunately, Stalin had other ideas. Bergelson was killed in 1952. This collection of short stories are pretty dark, but clever and layered. Not for the casual reader, but if you have an interest in ...more
Michael
Sep 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Just OK. Interesting series of stories assembled from the world of Berlin between the wars through the eyes of a Jewish exile from the Ukraine, a very popular writer in Yiddish at the time. Particularly liked the fat frau in the first story and the self-described Jewish terrorist who struggles to assasinate the 'pogromist' who moves in across the hall in his boarding house.
Joseph Roth's book of Berlin stories makes an interesting contrast.

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David Bergelson (1884-1952) is one of the prominent Jewish authors and intellectuals who became murder victims to Stalin’s anti-Jewish terror. He is also one of the Soviet-Russian Yiddish authors who are important to the Yiddish literature of the twentieth century.
More about David Bergelson...