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Berinski, Lev

BERINSKI, LEV

BERINSKI, LEV (1939– ), Yiddish poet. Berinski was born in Kauschan (Bessarabia) and became one of the most inventive of the post-Holocaust Yiddish poets. During World War ii his family fled to Tadzhikistan, returning to Moldavia in 1945. In 1963 Berinski moved to Smolensk in order to study German, then to Moscow to study poetry and poetic translation. Initially he wrote poems in Russian, then later in Yiddish, and translated into Russian from Romanian, Spanish, German, and Yiddish. In 1991 he immigrated to Israel, and settling in Acre. In 1992 he founded and became the editor of the literary almanac Naye Vegn; in 2000 he published an anthology of contemporary literature and became co-editor of Toplpunkt, a quarterly journal of literature, art, and social issues. In 1997 he won the David Hofstein and Itzik Manger Prize, the most distinguished prize for Yiddish literature, and the following year he became chair of the Fareyn fun Yidishe Shraybers un Zhurnalistn in Yisroel. Berinski's Yiddish work comprises poems and poem cycles, stories, and essays. He is a postmodern poet who expresses the chaos that results from annihilation through collage, montage, intertextuality, quotation, proverb, aphorism, and mathematical formula, thus creating bold metaphors that connect the traditionally Jewish and philosophically enlightened with the surrealistically cosmic, while the whole opens up into the realm of the absurd and ironic. In addition to two volumes of Russian poetry (1992, 1997), he has published several volumes in Yiddish: Der Zuniker Veltboy ("Sunny Construction of the World," 1988); Rendsburger Mikve ("Rendsburger Ritual Bath," 1994); Calystegia Sepium ("Bindweed," 1995; Fischfang in Venetsye ("Fishing in Venice," 1996); Luftblumen ("Flowers in the Air," 1999).

bibliography:

I. Fater, in: Nusakh Ashkenaz in Vort un Klang (2002), 83–92.

[Astrid Starck (2nd ed.)]

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