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Leivick, H

Entry updated 5 March 2020. Tagged: Author.

Working name of Russian composer, journalist and playwright Leivick Halpern (1888-1962), whose language (and identity) was Yiddish; after imprisonment and Siberian exile, he lived in the USA from 1913; his working name was adapted in America to avoid any confusion with the exiled poet Moyshe Leyb-Halpern (1886-1932), also in New York. Of sf interest is his verse drama, published originally in German translation as Der Goylem: A Dramatische Poeme in Akht Bilder (1921; trans J C Augenlicht as The Golem: A Dramatic Poem in Eight Scenes dated 1927 but 1928) [for further translations see Checklist]. In its retelling of the Proto-SF set of tales about Rabbi Loew (?1512-1609) and his creation of the Golem that defends his people (but also escapes human control and devastates Prague), Leivick's drama has been understood as a Satire on revolutionary visions in general, including Bolshevism. [JC]

Leivick Halpern

born Chervyen, Russia [now Belarus]: December 1888

died New York: 23 December 1962


  • Der Goylem: A Dramatische Poeme in Akht Bilder (New York: Farlag Amerike, 1921) [play: binding unknown/]
    • The Golem: A Dramatic Poem in Eight Scenes (Boston, Massachusetts: Poet Lore, 1928) [play: 1927 is given as date of publication: trans by J C Augenlicht of the above: pb/]
    • "The Golem" in Three Great Jewish Plays (New York: Applause Book Publishers, 1986) [play: anth: trans by Joseph C Landis of the above: plus other plays: pb/]
    • "The Golem" in The Golem (New York: W W Norton and Company, 2006) [play: anth: further new trans by Joachin Neugroschel of the above: plus other material: hb/William Wyld]


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