Judith Miller on Nathan Englander’s New Play
Today on Tablet, a look at The Twenty-Seventh Man
Today on Tablet, our theater critic Judith Miller explores Nathan Englander’s first work written for the stage. Englander, who labels himself ‘an accidental playwright,’ based The Twenty-Seventh Man about a real event in which Stalin set out to murder Yiddish writers.
And what a poignant story he has told. At first, the three prison mates whom Stalin’s secret police have arrested—all giants of Yiddish literature in Russia—react to their plight with literary banter born of disbelief and denial. They try to shrug off their ominous incarceration with literary insults and Jewish jokes. Vasily Korinsky (Chip Zien), a true believer in Communist claptrap, a proud Party man who writes paeans to Stalin in verse, only half jokingly describes himself as “the most recognizable writer in this nation.” Clearly his arrest has been an “error,” an “oversight” that will be rectified if and when he can speak to The Agent in Charge. Though he writes in Yiddish, he is the prototypical new man—beyond race, region, ethnicity, and surely religion. Judaism is his culture and religion, not his life, he tells his cellmates.
Check out the rest here.
Former PM, current Defense Minister to retire from political life
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.