The Enigma of Isaac Babel: Biography, History, Context

October 30, 2020
The Enigma of Isaac Babel: Biography, History, Context

A literary cult figure on a par with Franz Kafka, Isaac Babelhas remained an enigma ever since he disappeared, along with hisarchive, inside Stalin's secret police headquarters in May of 1939.Made famous by Red Cavalry, a book about the Russian civilwar (he was the world's first "embedded" war reporter), anotherbook about the Jewish gangsters of his native Odessa, and yetanother about his own Russian Jewish childhood, Babel has beencelebrated by generations of readers, all craving fuller knowledgeof his works and days. Bringing together scholars of differentcountries and areas of specialization, the present volume is thefirst examination of Babel's life and art since the fall ofcommunism and the opening of Soviet archives. Part biography, parthistory, part critical examination of the writer's legacy inRussian, European, and Jewish cultural contexts, The Enigma ofIsaac Babel will be of interest to the general reader andspecialist alike.