Commonplace book 1939 – 1989

I have been going through my father’s commonplace book which starts in 1939 with an extended extract from Point Counter Point (about 3000 words – why would he transcribe at such length?) and ends some fifty years later with a newspaper clipping of a short piece by Eric Silver about Ezer Weizman.

These are the earliest entries:

Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley – dirty postcards, Bach, Beethoven and the meaning of life would be a factual description of some topics covered in the aforementioned long extract

Extract from Decline and Fall of the Romantic Ideal by F.L.Lucasabout Dadaism

From The Waste Land Part lll by T S Eliot – At the violet hour…

Hysteria from Collected Poems 1909 -1935 of T.S.Eliot  – With (sic) added after the word Poems. Was this dad’s psedo-philistinism or linguistic pedantry in relation to this ‘prose poem’?

The Hippopotamus, T.S.Eliot – of hippos and the True Church

Extract from Fragment of an Agon, T.S.Eliot – of crocodile isles and bamboo trees

Extract from The Ascent of F6, by W H Auden and Christopher Isherwood …I tell you, he’d give his rarest flower/ Merely to breathe for one more hour…

Then three newspaper clippings:

  • Il Corriere Del Sabato quoting a broadcast of 2 October 1945 made to Italian Prisoners’ of War in Great Britain by, if I have read his writing correctly, Conte Carandini (my father was in Italy at the end of WWll and I presume he got the newspaper there)
  • The Jewish Chronicle’s Personal notices of 23 November 1945 with three relatives of a deceased person sending thanks for condolences from three different pubs. Were they the landlords, which presumably my dad would have thought a most unusual thing for yidden, or did bombed-out people use pubs as a form of forwarding address?
  • A quote from The New Statesman and Nation, 20 April 1946, featuring a sickeningly sexist comment from a Parliamentary debate:

only a merciful and complete suspension of judgment on the part of the male enables the human race to perpetuate itself

This gives a flavour of the subsequent entries with their focus on literature and religion and his admiration for powerful, witty writing.  Fast forwarding to 1970, a book review in The Times by Dennis Potter of The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross nicely encapsulates this and dad has merely added – Brilliant writing! 

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Articles kept in cuttings book

TITLE/DATE PUBLICATION COMMENTS, LINKS ETC PAYMENT
       
BALDUR MADE HISTORY 25/9/1941 EGYPTIAN GAZETTE  WESTERN DESERT PAGE 50 PIASTRES (10/-)
DESERT ENGLISH 10/10/1941 EGYPTIAN GAZETTE WESTERN DESERT PAGE 50 PIASTRES (10/-)
WINTER DRAWERS ON c. November 1941 EGYPTIAN GAZETTE WESTERN DESERT PAGE 50 PIASTRES (10/-)
I MISSED THE BRIDE 11/09/1943 TRIPOLI TIMES “I presume that… I asked for payment” NO PAYMENT
YIDDISH – THREAT OF ITS “RAPID DISAPPEARANCE”  18/04/1947 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £3-3-0
THE HEBREW OF THE BIBLE 12/09/1947 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £3-3-0
THE HEBREW OF THE MISHNA 20/08/1948 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £4-4-0
THE OLD TESTAMENT AS LITERATURE August 1949 THE JEWISH MONTHLY “I returned the cheque, but the JM re-returned it…” £2-2-0
MODERN HEBREW AND MR KOESTLER 16/12/1949 ZIONIST REVIEW   £3-3-0
YOUNG ZIONISTS NEVER DIE! 30/12/1949 ZIONIST REVIEW   £3-3-0
HEBREW UNLIMITED 06/01/1950 ZIONIST REVIEW PLUS EXPENSES £2-2-0
HEINE THE JEW July 1950 THE JEWISH MONTHLY editor advised that he received several  letters expressing admiration for article £2-2-0
ANGLO-JEWRY AND MODERN HEBREW 01/09/1950 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £6-0-0
I SHOULD LIVE SO! 22/06/1951 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE note added re sub-editing £5-5-0
THE ANGLO-JEWISH HERITAGE 14/09/1951 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ink corrections added where printed article deviated from his original typescript £4-4-0
MACHMANSHIP 19/10/1951 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE follow-up letters in 9/11/51 issue Original typescript £6-6-0
MEMOIRS OF A JEWISH MOTHER 16/11/1951 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £6-6-0
SHADCHANSHIP 29/02/1952 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE  Original typescript £6-6-0
OFFN PRIPPETCHEK 27/06/1952 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £7-7-0
THE KOL NIDREI PRAYER 26/09/1952 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE  Original typescript £5-5-0
THE HEBREW-ARAMAIC ELEMENTS IN THE YIDDISH LANGUAGE 01/05/1953 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE follow-up letters in subsequent issues £8-8-0
THE YOUNG TCHERNICHOVSKI 25/09/1953 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE  Original typescript £5-5-0
LONDON’S LIBRARIES OF JEWISH INTEREST 08/01/1954 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE “much cut” from his Original typescript £5-5-0
SHOCKLING IN THE BALANCE 09/04/1954 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE  Original typescript £5-5-0
WHAT IS A YIDDISHISM? 28/05/1954 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £4-4-0
HEINREICH HEINE: Two Studies of His Thought and Feeling by William Rose  06/04/1956 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW (W Rose reviewed HH book trans. by JW in 3/8/56 JC) £5-5-0
SOME YIDDISH LOCUTIONS Summer 1956 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY note re JC review of JQ quoting this article £2-2-0
OTHER PEOPLE’S VINEYARDS Literary Essays by D Daiches Autumn 1956 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY BOOK REVIEW “mangled editorially” £1-1-0
PROFESSOR’S POET Heinrich Heine by E Butler 18/01/1957 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW Original typescript £2-2-0
TRAGEDY OF HEINE Heinreich Heine: A Biographical Anthology Ed. H Bieber 07/06/1957 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £2-2-0
YIDDISH HUMOUR Handbook of Jewish Words and Expressions by C Hawkins 22/11/1957 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE “My heading was Huz Bizioniss? (…the allusion too recondite…)” £1-11-6
WHO IS A JEW? A Reply to Mr. Ben-Gurion 15/05/1959 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE second prize in Essay Competition £26-5-0
LETTER TO A BAAL SIMCHA 04/03/1960 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE note about article and sketches by Edith Witriol Original typescript £5-5-0
PSYCHOLOGIST-ENTERTAINER How to Live With Yourself by M Banks 09/06/1961 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW not noted
ENFANT PERDU Heine, The Tragic Satirist by S Prawer 25/08/1961 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW “approx. the first third of my “copy”!  Handwritten draft not noted
POLISH RUSSIAN ELEMENTS IN YIDDISH 16/02/1962 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE noted as reprint (?) £11-11-0
THE OTHER GERMANY From Gottsched to Hebbel by G Mason 13/04/1962 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW  various corrections/errors noted £3-3-0
IN OLD VIENNA Karl Kraus…by H Kohn 12/10/1962 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW Original typescript £5-0-0
BEYOND REALISM Blood From the Sky by P Rawicz 15/05/1964 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £3-13-6
MOTHERS AND SONS Vertical and Horizontal by L Ross/ Because I was Flesh by E Dahlberg 22/05/1964 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £4-4-0
MASSACRE IN MAYENCE Belmarsh by C Davis  18/09/1964 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW – not in cuttings book £3-13-6
BOY FROM ORPHANAGE The Woman From Bessarabia by M Levinson 06/11/1964 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £4-4-0
A WANDERING TAILOR The Stormy Life of Laz Roitshvantz by I Ehrenburg 12/03/1965 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £7-7-0
MILK FOR THE MIKVA Valley of Exile by I Olbracht 27/08/1965 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £6-6-0
WHAT’S IN A NAME? 05/11/1965 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £12-0-0
HIGH JINKS IN INDIA Clown on Fire by A Judah 03/12/1965 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £3-3-0
YIDDISH HUMOUR Royte Pomerantsen, or How to Laugh in Yiddish ed. I Olsvanger 11/03/1966 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £4-0-0
A VANISHED WORLD Dvinsk: Its Rise and Decline by Y Flior 25/03/1966 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW £4-0-0
NOTHING BUT A POET Heine by M Spann 31/03/1967 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW “commissioned May 6th 1966!” not noted
A TRAGIC LANGUAGE Voices From The Yiddish eds. I Howe and E Greenberg 24/03/1972 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW comment about article’s genesis not noted
LID OFF HASMONEAN 04/11/1977 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE lengthy comment about background to article not noted
WOMEN DON’T COUNT 29/09/1978 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £30.00
TORAH – NEW LIGHT FOR OLD 27/10/1978 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE “…title changed, and large chunks hacked out…” not noted
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SHULMANSHIP 09/11/1979 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   £30.00
J AND NON-J VOCAB 29/02/1980 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE lengthy comment about background to article £30.00
ADVANCED SHULMANSHIP 07/11/1980 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE “probably my feeblest effort of all time…” £40.00
YIDDISH AND GERMAN Autumn 1981 THE INCORPORATED LINGUIST also long letter in Spring 1982 issue not noted
NAMING NAMES 31/01/1986 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   not noted
CAN’T WOMEN MAKE UP A MINYAN? 05/09/1986 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE   not noted
CELEBRATING THE SABBATH IN GOURMET STYLE 13/01/1989 THE JEWISH CHRONICLE
lengthy comment about background to article.
 Follow-up letters in subsequent issues
£50.00