Peretz, I.L.

▪ Polish-Jewish writer
in full  Isaac Leib Peretz , also spelled  Yitskhak Leybush Perets , Leib also spelled  Loeb  or  Löb 
born May 18, 1852, Zamość, Poland, Russian Empire
died April 3, 1915, Warsaw

      prolific writer of poems, short stories, drama, humorous sketches, and satire who was instrumental in raising the standard of Yiddish literature to a high level.

      Peretz began writing in Hebrew but soon turned to Yiddish. For his tales, he drew material from the lives of impoverished Jews of eastern Europe. Critical of their humility and resignation, he urged them to consider their temporal needs while retaining the spiritual grandeur for which he esteemed them. Influenced by Polish Neoromantic and Symbolist writings, Peretz lent new expressive force to the Yiddish language in numerous stories collected in such volumes as Bakante bilder (1890; “Familiar Scenes”), Khasidish (1907; “Hasidic”), and Folkstimlekhe geshikhtn (1908; “Folktales”). In his drama Die goldene keyt (1909; “The Golden Chain”), Peretz stressed the timeless chain of Jewish culture.

      To encourage Jews toward a wider knowledge of secular subjects, Peretz for several years wrote articles on physics, chemistry, economics, and other subjects for Di yudishe bibliotek (1891–95; “The Jewish Library”), which he also edited. Among his other nonfictional works are Bilder fun a provints-rayze (1891; “Scenes from a Journey Through the Provinces”), about Polish small-town life, and Mayne zikhroynes (1913–14; “My Memoirs”).

      Peretz effectively ushered Yiddish literature into the modern era by exposing it to contemporary trends in western European art and literature. In his stories he viewed Hasidic material obliquely from the standpoint of a secular literary intellect, and with this unique perspective the stories became the vehicle for an elegiac contemplation of traditional Jewish values.

      The Peretz home in Warsaw was a gathering place for young Jewish writers, who called him the “father of modern Yiddish literature.” During the last 10 years of his life, Peretz became the recognized leader of the Yiddishist movement, whose aim—in opposition to the Zionists—was to create a complete cultural and national life for Jewry within the Diaspora with Yiddish as its language. He played an important moderating role as deputy chairman at the Yiddish Conference that assembled in 1908 at Czernowitz, Austria-Hungary (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), to promote the status of the language and its culture.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PERETZ (I. L.) — Peretz est le dernier (en date) des trois classiques de la littérature yiddish moderne, les deux autres étant: Mendélé Mokher Seforim et Cholem Aleikhem. On dit communément que, si Mendélé est l’aïeul de cette jeune littérature et si Cholem… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Peretz — ist der Familienname von: Amir Peretz (* 1952), marokkanisch israelischer Politiker und Gewerkschafter Jizchok Leib Perez (1852–1915; alternative Schreibweise Peretz), jiddischer Schriftsteller Peretz ist der Vorname von: Peretz Bernstein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peretz — The Jewish name Peretz may refer to the following people * Amir Peretz (born 1952), former Defense Minister and Labour Party leader in Israel * I.L. Peretz, (1852 ndash;1915), a modernist Yiddish language author and playwright * Jesse Peretz… …   Wikipedia

  • Peretz — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Patronyme Nom porté par de nombreuses personnalités israéliennes ou juives : Amir Peretz, ministre israélien de la défense ; I.L. Peretz,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Peretz — n. family name; male first name; Amir Peretz (born 1952), Defense Minister of Israel and Deputy Prime Minister in the 31st Israeli Government, leader of the Israeli Labour Party, former chairman of the Israeli Histadrut federation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Peretz — /per its/; Yiddish. /pe rddets/, n. I(saac) L(oeb) or Yitzchok Leibush /yits khawk lay boosh/, 1852 1915, Polish author: writer of plays, poems, and short stories in Yiddish. Also, Perez. * * * …   Universalium

  • Peretz — /per its/; Yiddish. /pe rddets/, n. I(saac) L(oeb) or Yitzchok Leibush /yits khawk lay boosh/, 1852 1915, Polish author: writer of plays, poems, and short stories in Yiddish. Also, Perez …   Useful english dictionary

  • PERETZ, ISAAC LEIB — (Yitskhok Leybush; 1852–1915), Yiddish and Hebrew author. Peretz was one of the three classic Yiddish writers – with S.Y. Abramovitsh and sholem aleichem – and the founder of Yiddish modernism. In the first decade of the 20th century he was at… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PERETZ, AMIR — (1952– ), Israeli politician, chairman of the New Histadrut and the Israel Labor Party, member of the Knesset since the Twelfth Knesset. Peretz was born in Bozar in Morocco, and immigrated with his family to Israel in 1956. The family settled in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PERETZ, ABRAHAM — (1771–1833), one of the first maskilim in Russia and a leader of the Jewish community. Son of the rabbi of Lubartow, Peretz married the daughter of wealthy joshua zeitlin of Shklov. He was a fellow student of J.L. Nevakhovich , and at the end of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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