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LATTEINER, JOSEPH:

Judæo-German playwright; born at Jassy, Rumania, in 1853. After studying Talmud in the yeshibah there, Latteiner, at the age of seventeen, devoted himself to the study of modern languages. In 1876 the quarrel which broke out between the Ḥasidim and the Mitnaggedim in his native town afforded Latteiner an opportunity to test his dramatic talent; he wrote two dramas, "Der Fanaticismus" and "Der Dibbuḳ," both being produced with notable success. In 1884 Latteiner went to New York, where he is now living (1904); he is recognized as one of the leading writers for the Jewish stage in America. Latteiner has written over a hundred plays, mainly melodramas, burlesques, and comic operas. He is an opponent of Gordin's realistic dramas, and for a long time he and Horowitz held undisputed sway. Among his dramas "Das Fünfte Gebot," "Blümele," and "Ḥorban Yerushalayim" deserve special notice.

Bibliography:
  • B. Eisenstadt, Ḥakme Yisrael be-Ameriḳa, p. 61, New York, 1903;
  • Hutchins Hapgood, The Spirit of the Ghetto, pp. 126, 128, 139, New York, 1902.
S. M. Sel.
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