Gross, Naphtali

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GROSS, NAPHTALI (1896–1956), Yiddish poet, short story writer, essayist, and translator. Born in Kolomea (Galicia), he emigrated to the U.S. in 1913 and worked as a typesetter and as a teacher in Yiddish schools. His first published poems appeared in the Montreal daily, Der Keneder Odler. Gross was a talented translator of poetry from numerous languages into Yiddish. He published his works in Yiddish newspapers, such as Der Yidisher Kemfer, Fraye Arbeter Shtime, and Der Tog, and periodicals founded by Di Yunge, such as Velt Oys-Velt Ayn, Der Groyser Kundes, Shriftn. From 1946, he wrote a weekly column, "Mayselekh un Mesholim" ("Little Stories and Parables"), based on stories from readers for the New York Forverts, which appeared in book form (Mayselekh un Mesholim, 1955), illustrated by his brother, the artist Chaim *Gross. Naphtali Gross's major poetic works are Psalmen ("Psalms," 1919), Der Vayser Rayter ("The White Horseman," 1925), andYidn ("Jews," 2 vols., 1929 and 1938). In the 1920s, his neo-Romantic works deviated from the literary norm, and he was criticized by many for his preoccupation with religious motifs and with the idealization of the shtetl at a time of revolution. With Abraham Rejzen, he translated the poems of Solomon ibn *Gabirol. Gross's collected poems, Lider ("Poems," 1958), include a bibliography by E.H. Jeshurin.

add. bibliography:

Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1927), 612–14; lnyl, 1 (1963), 349–52; Y. Botoshanski, Portretn fun Yidishe Shrayber (1933), 270–77; Z. Weinper, Yidishe Shriftshteler, 1 (1933), 40–45; Sh. Bickel, Detaln un Sakhaklen (1943), 242–44

[Shlomo Bickel /

Marc Miller (2nd ed.)]