— Leo Rosten, born around this date in 1908
`It Is the Truth'
I first encountered Rolnick in 1969 when for Christmas I asked for a copy of A Treasury of Yiddish Poetry, edited by Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg. It included five poems by Rolnick, translated by Lucy Dawidowicz and Florence Victor, and by Harvey Shapiro. Dawidowicz went on to write The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (1975) and other books. All of this reminds me of a scene in Malamud’s greatest novel, The Assistant (1957). Helen Bober visits her neighborhood branch library in Brooklyn. There she meets Frank Alpine, the drifter who works as an assistant in her father’s failing grocery:
This is the Truth ...