Aizman, David Yakolevich

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AIZMAN, DAVID YAKOLEVICH (1869–1922), Russian writer. He studied painting in Odessa and Paris, but in his early thirties turned to literature. Aizman wrote a great deal about the Jewish poor, in a style reminiscent of Maxim *Gorki. In such short stories as "Ob odnom zlodeyanii" ("About a Crime," 1902), "Zemlyaki" ("Fellow-countrymen," 1903), and "Savan" ("The Shroud," 1903) as well as in the play Ternovykust ("The Blackthorn Bush," 1907), Aizman portrayed revolutionary-minded Jewish intellectuals and their persecution by the Czarist police. His later work bears the imprint of Russian Symbolist prose, e.g., the short story "Utro Anchla" (1906), the novella "Krovavy razliv" ("Bloody Deluge," 1908), and the fantastic dream "Svetly bog" ("The Radiant God," 1914). Although he was very popular in his day – an eight-volume edition of his works was published in Russia in 1911–1919 – Aizman's stories last appeared in the U.S.S.R. in 1926, and by the second half of the century his name was almost totally forgotten.


Kratkaya literaturnaya entsiklopediya, 1 (1962), 108–9.

[Maurice Friedberg]