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Underwood, Walter S. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. IV, No. 7 (April 1907)

Leiserson, William M.
Is the Kreutzer sonata an insult to the American people? Is it immoral?,   pp. [unnumbered]-197



                          THE
    WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE
                      APRIL, 1907
       VOLUME IV                      NUMBER 7
  IS THE KREUTZER SONATA AN INSULT TO
        THE AMERICAN PEOPLE? IS IT
                     IMMORAL?
                 WILLiAM M. LEISERSON.
  On the thirteen of March, Madame Bertha Kalich, ap-
peared at the Fuller Opera House in an adaptation, by Lang-
don Mitchell, of Jacob Gardin's Yiddish* play, The Kreutzer
Sonata.  On the fourteenth a review of the play appeared in
the State Yournal under the sensational headline, "The
Kreutzer Sonata, a Play Immoral and without a Moral."
And the following day the Cardinal contained a report of a
talk before the members of the class in Modern Drama in
which Prof. J. F. A. Pyre characterized the play as a "direct
insult to the American people."
To those who witnessed the performance and saw in it a faith-
ful representation of the life and problems of an immigrant
race, these attacks must have come as a complete surprise.
To the writer of these lines it seems that the criticism is due
to a misconception of the meaning of the play.
  The charge of immorality or non-morality is absurd. The
Kreutzer Sonata is a tragedy precipitated by an attempt to
break through the Great Wall between the Jew and the
* Yiddish is the universal language of the Jews. It has been dubbed
by them the "Jargon," to distinguish it from Hebrew, the language
of
the scholars. The two are very unlike. Yiddish sounds like a corrupted
German. It has no grammar.


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