Synopses & Reviews
From the early Soviet period, the impassioned short fiction of the great Russian-Jewish writer
One of the most powerful short-story writers of the twentieth century, Isaac Babel expressed his sense of inner conflict through disturbing tales that explored the contradictions of Russian society. Whether reflecting on anti-Semitism in stories such as "Story of My Dovecote" and "First Love," or depicting Jewish gangsters in his native Odessa, Babel's eye for the comical laid bare the ironies of history. His masterpiece, "Red Cavalry," set in the Soviet-Polish war, is one of the classics of modern fiction. By turns flamboyant and restrained, this collection of Babel's best-known stories vividly expresses the horrors of his age.
"Amazing not only as literature but as biography." Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
"Marvelously subtle, tragic, and often comic." James Wood, The New Republic
A newly translated collection of stories. His desire to remain faithful to his Jewish roots and yet to be free of them gives Babel a duality of vision, which infuses his work with a powerful energy, from the earliest tales.
About the Author
(1894 &1941) was a short-story writer, playwright, and correspondent with the Red Army forces during the Russian civil war. He died in a Soviet gulag in 1941.
Efraim Sicher teaches at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
David McDuff has translated works by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky for Penguin Classics.'
Table of Contents
Ilya Isaakovich and Margarita Prokofyevna
Childhood. At Grandmother's
The Story of My Dovecot
In the Basement
Guy de Maupassant
Crossing the Zbrucz
The Catholic Church in Novograd
The Konzapas Commander
The Sun of Italy
My First Goose
The Way to Brody
The Theory of the Tachanka
The Death of Dolgushov
The Life Story of Pavlichenko, Matvey Rodionych
The Cemetery in Kozin
The Story of a Horse
Evening Afonka Bida
At St. Valentine's
Squadron Commander Trunov
A Sequel to the Story of a Horse
After the Battle
The Rebbe's Son
How It was Done in Odessa
Justice in Brackets
The End of the Almshouse
Appendix: Lionel Trilling's introduction to the first English translation (1955) of Isaac Babel's Collected Stories