Song of the Dnieper, by Zalman Shneour
In the preface the author states his essential purpose: it is to tell of “the coachmen, butchers, plasterers, hewers of wood . . . the reservoir of the healthy blood and the earthly passions of the people of Israel.” This necessary substratum of Jewish life has often been overlooked or ignored; even the Jews themselves have always considered themselves exclusively the people of the Book. Here, laborers are to be shown to advantage in contrast with the privileged classes, the scholars and the men of wealth. Earthiness, physical strength, animal passions, direct communion with nature, healthy eroticism are some of the attributes of this world that the author wishes to evoke.
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