Brenner, Joseph Chaim

(1881–1921)
   Hebrew writer. After a traditional Jewish education, Ukraine-born Brenner was drawn into the Jewish socialist movement, the Bund. In 1901 he was drafted into the Russian army but deserted on the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904 and escaped to England. He worked in a London printshop for a year and produced a small literary periodical. He then settled in Poland and edited a Hebrew journal, Revivim. In 1909, after several years of hesitation, he settled in Palestine. He worked for a while as a farm labourer, and later as a teacher in Hebrew language and literature at the Herzliah Gymnazia (high school) in Tel Aviv. However, his main vocation during these years was as an editor, translator and writer of novels, short stories and sketches, essays and literary criticism. He was murdered in the Arab riots of 1921, at Jaffa where he was living.
   As a writer, Brenner was at first influenced by the Hebrew novelist BERDYCZEWSKI and by the Russian giants Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. His approach was sharply realistic, and his style contributed much to the evolution of modern idiomatic Hebrew. He depicted the disintegrating Jewish life of the Russian Pale of Settlement in bleak and pessimistic terms. In Palestine his works mirrored the hopes and frustrations of the Second Aliyah period before World War I and he sought to strip the hard struggle of any romantic illusions. There was a revived interest in Brenner after the Six Day War in 1967, in the self- searching mood of younger Israel intellectuals. His collected works have been published as Kitvei J.C.Brenner (3 vols., 1955–67).

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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