Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Peretz Markish


Born on 7 December 1895 in Polonnoye, Volin, into a family of artisans. He received a Jewish education, and until age ten he learned in a cheder. From age nine until eleven he learned with his parents in the town Romanov, then went away from home and until age thirteen was a choir boy with a cantor in Berdichev, later was for several years was an extern in Odessa, where he lived under difficult material conditions. At age fifteen he began to write songs in Russian.

1916 -- taken into the military, participated in the World War on the German front, became lightly wounded and released, he settled in Yekaterinoslav. He debuted (1917) with a Yiddish song in "Der kemfer", an organ of the "Fareynikte" in Yekaterinoslav, then in the collection book "Eygens" (Kiev 1918), and in 1919 his first book of songs, "Shveln", was published which made him popular as one of the prominent young Yiddish poets in the Ukraine.

1921 -- arrived in Poland, where he performed with presentations about the new poetry, reviewed his own songs and took an active part in the new Yiddish literature in Poland. After issuing in Poland several new works, and co-founding public in 1924 the weekly page "Literarishe bleter", where he published as co-editor many articles on literary themes, about theatre, etc., and he was brought for a short time to Berlin, London and Paris, where he also continued his literary activity and settled in the Soviet Union, also completing his ideological approach to the themes, which he treated in his work.

During the 1927-28 season the Ukrainian Jewish State Theatre in Kharkov staged M.'s translation of "Babef, a social drama in four acts by M. Levidov".

In the summer of 1929 in Camp "Nit Gedeyget", music -- M. Milner, settings -- Y. Mandelberg. The play in January 1931 also was performed in Russian in a Russian theatre in Moscow (gev. Korsh). In 1931 the play was published in print in Moscow.

The same play on 26 February 1931 was staged in Yiddish by Moscow's Jewish State Theatre: "Nit gedeyget", a play in four acts, composed from a spectacle -- S. E. Redlov and S. M. Mikhoels, settings -- Isak Rabinofitsh, music -- L. Pulver.

M.'s play "Der finfter horizont" was staged in Russian in the Vakhtungov Theatre.

M. also wrote the scenes for a talkie "Nathan Beker Goes Home", which was shown in the Soviet Union and in America.

M.'s printed plays in Russian:

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, pp. 348-53.

  • Niter -- "Babef", "Shgtern", Kharkov 8 April 1928.

  • B. Orshansky -- P. markishes "nit gedaght" inm yidishn mlukhh teater in ukraine, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 48, 1930.

  • Shaul -- Vegn kompozitor milner's muzik tsu peretz markishes dramatisher poeme "nitgedayget", ""Morgn-frayhayt", N. Y., 29 December 1930.

  • Z. Wendroff -- Perets markish oyf der bine fun yidishn un roytishn teater in ukraine, "Vokhnshrift", Warsaw, 9, 1931.

  • Aleksander Zilbershtat -- Men shpilt itst in moskve a piese fun idishen leben, "Forward", N. Y., 26 May 1931.

  • D. Volin -- Perets markish oyf der bihne fun idishen un rusishn teater in moskve, "Di tsayt", London, 31 May, 1, 2 June 1931.

  • Y. Lyubomirsky -- "Melukhisher yidisher teater in ukraine", Kharkov, 1931, pp. 48-49, 67-70.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1267.

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