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LINETZKI, ISAAC JOEL:

Russo-Yiddish humorist; born at Vinnitza Sept. 8, 1839, in which town his father, Joseph Linetzki, was a Ḥasidic rabbi. At the age of eighteen Isaac ran away from home and went to Odessa. Thence he intended to go to Breslau to study at the rabbinical seminary, but was intercepted at the frontier by his father's fanatical friends, who forced him to return home. Linetzki then attended the rabbinical school at Jitomir (1862-63); and while there he wrote his first poems, which were published in his "Beizer Marshelik" (Odessa, 1868). Zweifel and Slonimsky took a great interest in Linetzki, who on the latter's recommendation obtained a position in the office of M. Weinstin at Kiev.

In 1866 Linetzki became a contributor to "Ḳol Mebasser," a Yiddish weekly published in Odessa, and in 1868 he began the publication of his famous novel "Das Polische Jüngel." The success of this work was unprecedented in Yiddish literature. Being a true account of the life of a Ḥasidic youth and entirely based upon actual experience, "Das Polische Jüngel" is, in the opinion of the most eminent critics, one of the best humoristic works in Yiddish (L. Wiener, "Hist. of Yiddish Literature," p. 165).

In 1875 Linetzki published at Lemberg conjointly with Goldfaden a Judæo-German weekly, "Yisrolik." In 1876-77 he published his "Pritshepe" and "Statek," and the first number of his calendar, which he continued to issue for a number of years. In the period between 1882 and 1888 he published several works, including "Amerika zi Erez Isroel"; a geography of Palestine; and translations of Lessing's "Nathan der Weise" and Grätz's "Gesch. der Juden." His "Worem Chrein," a sequel to "Das Polische Jüngel," was published as a serial in the "Jüdische Volksbibliotek" (1888, vol. i.). Shorter sketches from his pen have appeared in the "Familienfreund," in the "Hausfreund," and in the "Volksfreund."

Bibliography:
  • Linetzki Yubileum, Odessa, 1891;
  • Wiener, Hist. of Yiddish Literature, New York, 1899;
  • Voskhod, 1884, No. 2.
H. R. M. Z.
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