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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