"Unhappy is the land that needs a hero."
-- Bertolt Brecht
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Isaak Babel (July 13, 1894)
Babel was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and some of his most famous stories are about the Jewish underworld of Odessa. Babel was alternately the darling of Soviet literature in his early years; an outcast (the Soviet authorities executed him in 1940); and a rehabilitated hero in 1954. His work is fascinating as both Russian and Russian-Jewish history, and as well-crafted stories.