Born in 1863 in Vodzislav, Kielce Gubernia, Poland, into
a well-to-do Chasidic family. He received a traditional
Jewish education. In his early youth he took to
Haskalah, learned languages and traveled out to Warsaw.
According to Sh. Rozenfeld, F. in his youth belonged to
a National Polish revolutionary organization and
translated Polish revolutionary literature. Later he
approached Jewish society, and for twenty years he began
his journalistic activity in the Hebrew press. In
Yiddish he debuted in two volumes of Peretz's "Yudishe
biblikotek," and since then he wrote in both languages.
There were issued several books in Hebrew and Yiddish,
including in complete Yiddish translations the novel "Preh"
by Bolesław Prus, and "Mirtala" by Eliza Orzeszkowa.
F. left over in a manuscript
several dramas in Yiddish, and a incomplete historical
drama, "Temerl," with the Zbitkover family as the main
heroes, of which the first act was published in a
collection of "Today" (1924, pp. 94-98).
Zalmen Reisen remarked that
F. never stopped writing in Yiddish. He used to attack
Yiddish in Yiddish.
On 1 February 1924 F. passed
away in Warsaw.
Z. Tigiel, portrayed the
Yiddish assimilator in Polish, characterizing him as
“…E. N. Frank was a child of these purveyors of
assimilation…born…of fanatically pious parents, his
early education, in Polish, naturally, was provided by
…Even after becoming a recognized Hebrew author, working
with leaders in the Zionist and Jewish- nationalist
movement, he was never able to liberate himself from the
assimilationist education that he had received. …Though
he wrote in Yiddish and knew and enriched the Yiddish
language, he hated Yiddish with fundamental abhorrence.
…A strangely interesting fact will perhaps clarify the
foregoing. E. N. Frank would often, both in private
conversation and in published writing, speak out against
Yiddish and against certain creations in the Yiddish
language merely because they were written in Yiddish. So
it happened that once, when he published a sharp attack
on Yiddish in Ha’tsfirah, a young man came up to
the editorial offices of Ha’tsfirah and delivered
several blows to his head with a cane. I am certain that
when that same slugger read Pharoah by Boleslaw
Prus in a wonderful Yiddish translation by that very
same Frank, he must have regretted his overwrought act
because it is beyond doubt that through the translation
of Pharoah, a masterwork in world literature, the
Yiddish language was extremely enriched. Not only did
Yiddish literature gain a great new work, but the
translation proved that E. N. Frank could write Yiddish
Z. Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish
Literature," Vilna, 1929, Vol. 3, pp. 228-237.
Z. Tigiel -- "Geshtaltn," New
York, 1928, pp. 135-144.