Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Reuben Eisland

Born on 29 April 1884 in Gross Radomysl, Galicia. He learned in cheders, kloyz, and various bet-hamedrashim (houses of study). In 1900 he began to write Hebrew songs, and Yiddish in 1904, a year after his arrival in America.

E., one of the founders of the group, "Yunge," entered a prominent place in the modern Yiddish lyrics. He published several larger translations and issued three books: "From My Summer" (1922), "The Song of Hirsh" (1944), and "From Our Spring" (1954).

Since 1918 an editorial member of "Tog." then the "Daily Morning Journal."

In the journal "Inzl" (N' 10, 1925 and N' 1, 1926) there was published is "R' Asher Chona," a drama in four acts.

About the drama, speaking about dramas by another writer, H(erman) Gold writes:

"In the beginning, there comes forth a breath of fresh earth, of virgin land and more than that it is the earth of Galicia.  However, alas, the stage management is stereotypical, self-effacing and more than that it appears passť. It bears the  format of a drama that is and is capable of evolving. The drama seems to already know that needs to become more, and that eventually it will become salacious, but all that is hidden under the guise of technique. The theme needs to be better controlled. It appears that Mr. Eisland knows this, but certainly the village in this play does not, ... The more we penetrate it, the more faint the color of the people becomes. Exactly as though he had used sandpaper instead of ink. 

The management of the drama is not inspired... because there is no perceptible eye. Finally, it is as though it has only recently been borrowed from someone else, but without really being seen at all. Over all it feels like reconstructed sentences, and as if bad wooden actors are standing and are acting as if they were human.

If Mr. Eisland wanted to merely dramatize something original, something he had heard someone else talk about, the play is none the less incomplete. We cannot see here even the smallest intention for something iniquitous, which can be called drama."

E. was ill during his last years and withdrew from his journalistic activity. He settled in Miami Beach, where he appeared to publish his last book, and there he passed away on 18 June 1955.

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," Vol. 1, New York, [1956], p. 17.

  • H. Gold -- Ekskursyes in der yidisher dramaturgye, "Unzer bukh," New York, N' 1, 1926.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4944.

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