David Bergelson's Judgment: Writing the Russian Revolution, in Yiddish
Hear from Sasha Senderovich, translator of the Yiddish-language novel Judgment by David Bergelson. This is the first time Bergelson’s book, written in Berlin in the late 1920s and set in a Jewish shtetl in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, has been rendered into English. The writer Gary Shteyngart called it “A brilliant, nightmarish look at a world without boundaries set alight by madmen.” Bergelson, one of the most intricate masters of Yiddish prose and the author of The End of Everything and Descent, was murdered on Stalin’s orders in 1952.
Sasha Senderovich is an assistant professor of Slavic and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. His published work includes articles on Russian Jewish writers David Bergelson and Isaac Babel, a critical introduction and notes to the English-language translation of Moyshe Kulbak’s Soviet Yiddish novel The Zelmenyaners: A Family Saga (Yale University Press, 2013), as well as on contemporary English-language fiction by Russian Jewish émigré authors — including Gary Shteyngart, Anya Ulinich, Boris Fishman, and Irina Reyn — in the United States. His and Harriet Murav's critical translation of David Bergelson's Judgment: A Novel was published by Northwestern University Press in 2017. He is currently working on his first monograph, How the Soviet Jew Was Made.