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In Search of Collaborators

In Search of Collaborators

(p.55) Chapter Four In Search of Collaborators
Aesthetics of Renewal
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Buber's search for a collaborator for an anthology. In 1904, Buber invited Galician-born Marcus Ehrenpreis to join him in the compilation of an “anthology of Hasidism.” Like Buber, Ehrenpreis was a member of the Democratic Faction within the World Zionist Organization and of the editorial board of the Jüdische Almanach. However, Ehrenpreis declined the offer; Buber's response is not extant, and we are left to speculative conjecture on the reasons for his decision. After the publication of his first two anthologies of Hasidic tales, legends, and anecdotes, Buber resumed his earlier search for a suitable collaborator in the editing of an anthology. He hoped to enlist the talent of a cultural Zionist writer fluent in Hebrew and German, with a strong grounding in European culture and literature. In addition, this spiritual Zionist had to share Buber's appreciation of Hasidism and pronounced neo-Romantic orientation, as well as his understanding of the nature of Jewish literary modernity. Last but not least, this Jewish writer had to be favorably disposed to publish the work with a non-Jewish publisher. Micha Josef Berdyczewski seemed to meet these criteria.

Keywords:   Martin Buber, anthology, collaborator, Marcus Ehrenpreis, Micha Josef Berdyczewski

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