Introduction to Peretz’s Familiar Scenes

From Bekante bilder (Familiar Scenes)
By I. L. Peretz
Introduction by Jacob Dinezon
Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson
A Few Words from the Publisher

The goal of this publication is to give the reading public inexpensive narratives from our Jewish life in our Jewish language, so that each may be able to buy, read, and understand them.

We begin with the stories and sketches of our colleague Mr. Y. L. Peretz, with whom the audience is already acquainted through his poem “Monish” (Folksbiblioteke, Sholem Aleichem, 1889) and a few novels (ibid, 1890) and also in new work (Odessa, 1890).

Mr. Peretz writes not to flatter the coarse taste of the lower class of reader, but rather, he wants to refine and improve him. So we are not being excessive in inviting the honorable readers—who are not yet accustomed to it—into a small Yiddish booklet to find something good in it. They should give us their trust, that we do not mean only the business alone when we advise them to buy the book, but we mean more than that—that they should read these inexpensive stories with intent, pay attention to the words, and apply heart and mind to the entire content! If they will heed us, they will certainly soon perceive and recognize for themselves our true goal with the “groshen bibliotek” [“penny library”].

When we can see that we have a public that understands and buys our things, we will, with God’s help, not lay down the pens from our hands and will make our poor zhargon literature richer with hundreds of similar stories which will cost less in any case and will bring more use than the most interesting novels which have until now poured out like rain and made a lot of mud.

We hope that you will give our publication a good recommendation and that the words expressed here will not be in vain.

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