When the Lamp Fade Away

729 pages

Life of the Jewish places, towns of "pale of settlement", prior to the beginning of the twentieth years of the last century found reflection in books of Sholem Aleichem and other authors writing in Yiddish. But the real doomsday for such settlements of Eastern Europe came later, in the early forties, when souls of their inhabitants took off from pipes of crematoriums for the Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian sky. And what occurred these "missing" two decades? How the icon lamp lit two centuries ago on a grave of the old Chassidic righteous person died away? "Dropped out" of the biography of places years and gaped the impenetrable black hole which has yawned between riots of Civil war and nazi camps of destruction.
Roman Zvi Preygerzona (1900–1969) "When will go out an icon lamp" in many respects meets this lack. The story flows slowly — in accuracy as life of the town on coast of the silent Psyol River. That the effect reached by the author is more amazing. Similar take-off of philosophical generalizations and depth of penetration into historical sense of events would be envied by the founder of any traditional "the big novel".

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