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Shapiro, Abba Constantin


SHAPIRO, ABBA CONSTANTIN (1839–1900), Hebrew poet. Born in Grodno, Shapiro studied photography, then lived in Vienna and St. Petersburg, where he married a Christian woman and was baptized. His apostasy haunted him throughout his life and is a hidden undercurrent in much of his poetry. He gained fame and fortune in St. Petersburg as an art photographer: he was the personal photographer of prominent Russian officials and of L.N. Tolstoy. From 1877 his poems appeared in most of the Russian and Hebrew literary periodicals. Shapiro's poetry, replete with Jewish and occasionally Zionist themes, was collected by J. *Fichmann in one volume, Shirim Nivḥarim (1911). Shapiro also published Sedom (1900), a poem on Dreyfus, cast in a biblical setting, and a critical essay on Turgenev's story "The Jew," "Turgenev ve-Sippuro 'Ha-Yehudi,'" in Ha-Meliẓ, 19 (1883).


Toren, in: Moznayim, 17 (1944), 41–54, 143–51 (includes bibliography); J.S. Raisin, Haskalah Movement in Russia (1913), 98; Waxman, Literature, 4 (19602), 210.

[Getzel Kressel]

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