A Life on the Boarder
Padlock IconThis article is only a portion of the full article. If you are already a premium subscriber please login. If you are not a premium subscriber, please subscribe for access to all of our content.

Published in: March-April 2011 issue.

 Wandering Soul:  The Dybbuk’s Creator, S. Ansky by Gabriella Safran

Wandering Soul:  The Dybbuk’s Creator, S. Ansky
by Gabriella Safran
Harvard University Press. 353 pages, $29.95


IN WANDERING SOUL, Gabriella Safran  has written an erudite biography of the Yiddish radical, Russian revolutionary, writer, ethnographer, and playwright S. Ansky (or An-sky), who’s best remembered for his haunting play, The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds. Drawing from Ansky’s own writings, Safran, who teaches Slavic literature at Stanford, depicts Ansky as a person of multiple identities and allegiances, a man in constant motion who remarked of himself: “I have neither a wife, nor children, nor a house, nor even an apartment, nor belongings, nor any settled habits.”

Ansky’s restlessness is evident early in his career and can be seen in his initial decision to change his very Jewish name from Shloyme-Zanvl Rappoport to S. Ansky.

To continue reading this article, please LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE