Inside Kasrilevke, by Sholom Aleichem
The reviewer must state that he came to Sholom Aleichem feeling himself to be an entirely emancipated Jew (the word “emancipated” is useds advisedly) and that it was with a severe sense of shock modified by some sorrow, an outraged fastidiousness only slightly alleviated by guilt, that he began to read Inside Kasrilevke. Slowly, however, his disgust and despair gave way to a grudging admiration which, in the end, approached the enthusiasm—unreserved, uncritical—of the convert. Still, upon further reflection, this feeling was cruelly dissipated and almost, if not quite, disappeared. For the Jew familiar with—and to—the world that followed the world of Dickens and Balzac cannot bring himself to accept as part of his heritage (however much, when caught, he will prate about his heritage), this world of Sholom Aleichem, which seems to him to be always on the verge of tears.
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