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  ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  SHMUEL MARVIL


Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S  "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"


VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City
 


 

Shmuel Marvil


Born in 1906 in a town near Warsaw, Poland. He learned in a cheder, Beit HaMedrash and yeshiva. He was an employee in a business in Warsaw, then started up with trade. He debuted in Weisenberg's journal, "Inzer hofening" (1927), with a portrait of life (lebensbild) in four acts, "Di libe (The Love)," (published in translations). Later he participated with reportages and sketches in Warsaw's "Express," and in Yiddish periodical publications in the province. In book form  he issued a small book of songs 'Tears in the Night" (Warsaw, 63 pp., 1937), and four plays: "Di makhsheyfe (The Witch)," a dramatic poem, Warsaw 1930, "Ver arop un ver aroyf," (a portrait of life in four acts, eight scenes, Warsaw, 1934), "Der vanderer," a dramatic poem in three scenes (Warsaw, 1935), and "Shaul hamelekh" (Warsaw, 1935, 48 pp.)

During the Second World War he was found in the Warsaw Ghetto, and about his creations there, the Marxist literary critic Ber Mark writes:

"That author, who before the war wrote entirely bad songs, is in the ghetto, in the face of reality, both artistic and  idealistic. This can be seen from his poem 'Di gas (The Street),' which is found in Part Two of the Ringelblum Archive.

Shmuel Marvil was descended from the religious spheres. He was quite far from a realist. The war and the ghetto horrors, which evoked a reverberation in world comprehension by not a single civilian writer, also worked on the young boy Marvil. The new creations infused his weak poetic talent with new power, which the poet had not yet possessed. As it turns out, as to letters from Marvil [in the same part of the archive], he wrote very much. There are some signs of this, but they say that not everything that Marvil wrote in the ghetto is valuable. For example, his song 'Tsu di hern (To the Hear?)' actually has certain anti-imperialist tendencies, an outcry against the hearings of London and Washington, but the song itself is weak and declarative. About 'Di gas (The Street)' presents an original picture of the ghetto, a picture taken by the author's experience, and makes an impression. The poet develops for us picture after picture of what he sees in the street: the recently deceased memes who were starved from hunger The orphans who fall like flies, the tragedy of lost elders, Curses are being sprung from human mouths, but the bitter words seem to have frozen in the cold, the battles of hunger rages. There is no waste. And so goes the image of hunger, by cutting off his inimitable fashion and sacrifice. With each case of famine grows the poet's moral agony, by which he himself -- as we find out from his letter -- (found in part two of the Ringelblum Archive) suffered distress, famine and a severe illness. ... The hunger-poem's last pages were severely shattered, making it difficult to talk about the conclusions to which the poet comes."

M. was killed by the Nazis.

M.'s published plays:

(1) Di libe
lebensbild in four acts
("Inzer hofening," Warsaw, 15 February, 2 May, 1 June, 1927. Not finished.)

(2) Sh. Marvil
The Witch
(dramatic poem)
(Warsaw, 1930, 16 pp.)

(3) Ver arop un ver aroyf
A lebensbild in four acts, 8 scenes
(Warsaw, 1934, 48 pp.)

(4) Shaul hamelekh
(dramatic poem in six scenes)
(Warsaw, 1935, 48 pp.)

(5) Der vanderer
dramatic poem in three scenes
(Warsaw, 1935, 40 pp.)


Sh.E. from David Rogoff.

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," New York, 1963, Vol. 5, pp. 498-99.

  • Ber Mark -- "Umgeklibene shrayber fun di getos un lagern," Warsaw, 1954, pp. 128-129.

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4558.
 

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