Meloche Bezuye (A Humiliating Profession) by Y. A. Lisky, London, 1947.

LiskyHum01This is a short novel in Yiddish by the longtime journalist Y. A. Lisky, who fled anti-Semitism in Vienna and ran England’s longest-surviving secular Yiddish newspaper until he was 89. His real name was Yehuda Isamar Fuchs, and he was the brother of the writer A. M. Fuchs.  He was born in Yezerna in Eastern Galicia, in 1899 or 1902 (accounts vary).  From 1924 to 1930 he lived in Vienna, followed by Paris and then London.

I have previously written about his collection of stories, “Productivizatzye”.

He wrote for many publications in London, including Di Tsayt (The Times), Di Ovent Nayes (The Evening News), Di Idishe Post (The Jewish Post), Dos Fraye Vort (The Free World), Yidish London (Jewish London) as well as the monthly magazine Loshn un Lebn (Language and Life).

In 1938 he married his long-time partner, Sonia Husid, whose pen name was N. M. Seedo.

LiskyHum03Meloche Bezuye is set in London and has characters based on some of Lisky’s literary Yiddish writer friends.  The story moves through a variety of local settings – a Yiddish literary event, a printers office in Whitechapel, a meeting during the battle of Cable Street, a house party with Jewish intellectuals in Hampstead.  It describes the writers circles, the deep conversations and the difficulties these writers had getting published in London.  Neglect  and lack of support for these writers has turned their writing into a humiliating profession.

LiskyHum02The last two pages are an interesting translation of English words written in Yiddish characters that are used in the text.

My copy is signed by the author.  It was printed by Narodiczky and Sons in Whitechapel.

If you want to read more in depth about Lisky, the excellent and recommended book is “London Yiddishtown” by Vivi Lachs.


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