THE SPINOZA OF MARKET STREET by Isaac Bashevis Singer

THE SPINOZA OF MARKET STREET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title story in this collection is a quaint study of an eccentric, fading philosopher in Warsaw just before World War I. Dr. Nahun Fischelson's nose is buried in Spinoza's Ethics and his murky eye confronts the future. But a strange romance comes into his life which the reader follows with all the delight of a fairytale. The folklore of Isaac Bashevis Singer reveals fanciful worlds inhabited by marriage brokers, derelicts, rabbis possessed by the devil, moneylenders, ghosts, dybbuks, attended by all the rituals, superstitions and behavior of antique Jewish custom. Some of the stories are narrated by Satan who wants to share with us the downfall of a perverse young lady or gentleman. All the stories are steeped in the realities of Jewish life in Poland many years earlier but the plots are hustled into bizarre shapes by the wild profusion of strange characters. One of the most endearing in the collection is set in a poorhouse where Jonah the Thief and Bashe the Whore tell the story of their lives to a companion. There is a very old, durable and sage glow to these stories; the translators deserve kudos.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1961
ISBN: 1179466438
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1961




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