Дер Тункелер. Мандри Біньяміна Четвертого: з українського хаосу. Розділи 1–7 [Переклад із їдишу й передмова Тетяни Батанової]

Der Tunkeler (Yosef Tunkel). Travels of Binyomin the Fourth: From the Ukrainian Chaos. Chapters 1–7

Translated from Yiddish into Ukrainian with an introduction by Tetyana Batanova

[Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine; National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy]

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 6 (2017)

Publication date: December 1, 2017

Publication type: source publication

Language: Ukrainian

Full text:



In 1920, Der Tunkeler (Yosef Tunkel) published his satirical autobiographical novel Travels of Binyomin the Fourth: From the Ukrainian Chaos at the publishing house Mizrakh and Mayrev (Warsaw, New York). This text tells the story of a Jew, an average citizen of former Russian Empire, who decided to flee from the danger of 1919 revolutionary Kyiv and start traveling to “where his eyes will guide him.” In Tunkeler’s grotesque narration, the historical events, as well as the urban geography of Kyiv live new revolutionary lives and take surreal, odd and chimerical forms. The Yiddish language of the text is full of modern and revolutionary “useful” terms as ChK, TsK, ochered, propusk, razreshenie, derived from Russian. The main character, who simultaneously acts as the narrator and reader’s guide to revolutionary Kyiv, quotes Torah, Talmud, Zohar and compiles his own midrash about Jacob who left Beer-Sheba and went to Charan (taking a conclusion that it is more important to leave some cities than to enter any others). Unlike Mendele Moykher-Sforim’s Binyomin the Third, Tunkeler’s character does not have any comrade who would share his dangerous travels with him. The only permanent companion of Binyomin the Fourth is his own laughter: who laughs at the character himself and his revolutionary everyday habits, as well as the revolutionary chaos, the “civil war on the Jewish street”, and even the drastic problem of pogroms.

Keywords: Der Tunkeler, Yosef Tunkel, Travels of Binyomin the Fourth, Yiddish literature, Civil War in Ukraine



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DOI 10.14653/ju.2017.08