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Bidding Information
Lot #    9316
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 12:15:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Otot u-Mofetim
Title (Hebrew)    אותות ומופתים
Author    [Polemic - Only Ed.] Mordecai Spector
City    Warsaw
Publisher    Joseph Unterhandler
Publication Date    1877
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 62 pp., 185:231 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in modern half cloth boards. Unrecorded color title wrapper bound in.
   A reply to attacks made against him by Zederbaum in Ha-Meliz.

Mordecai Spector (1858–1925), Yiddish novelist and editor. Born in Uman, Ukraine, of a hasidic family, he came under the influence of Haskalah literature and began to write realistic sketches based on his personal experiences and observations of ordinary people in workshops and marketplaces. A. Zederbaum, editor of the St. Petersburg Yidishes Folksblat, published Spector's first novel in weekly instalments under the title Roman On a Nomen (1883). Spector later became assistant editor of this paper. His second novel, Der Yidisher Muzhik (1884), aroused great interest since it advocated the return of the Jew to productive labor on their ancestral soil, a doctrine then propagated by the Hovevei Zion. Spector also influenced Shalom Aleichem to set his literary sights on the provinces and on shtetl life, then a neglected area in Yiddish literature. In 1887, he settled in Warsaw, where, during the following decade, he reached the height of his fame, writing feuilletons, travel sketches, short stories, novels, and editing a series of anthologies, Der Hoyzfraynd, a landmark in the development of modern Yiddish literature. In 1894, together with I. L. Peretz and D. Pinski, he launched the Yontev Bletlekh, another literary landmark. Other literary ventures followed during the ensuing two decades. After the Communist Revolution, he experienced hardships in Odessa. He escaped in 1920, and arrived in the U.S.A. in 1921. Living in New York, he completed a volume of memoirs, Mayn Lebn (1927), which has great literary, historical, and cultural value.

Spector was a writer for the masses, whom he tried to entertain, educate, and uplift. Though neither an original thinker nor a subtle psychologist, he was an excellent observer of reality, faithfully reproducing the colloquial speech of Jewish men and women in their homes, shops, and alleys. He was a pioneer of Yiddish folklore and of Yiddish writing for children, and was one of the first Yiddish writers to take a positive attitude toward Hasidism. His collected works appeared in 10 volumes (1927–29). His stories have been translated into eight languages, including English (cf. I. Howe and E. Greenberg, ed. A Treasury of Yiddish Stories (1953), 250–5).

Paragraph 2    >תשובה על חשבונותיו של המו"ל את "המליץ" (אלכסנדר צעדערבוים על הנדרים ונדבות שנקבצו לישוב ארץ ישראל)< ... מאת מרדכי ספעקטאר [בהשתתפות אברהם שלום פריעדבערג]...
   CD-EPI 0154793; EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica