Izi Kharik

Kharik, Izi

 

(also Isaak Davydovich Kharik). Born in the shtetl of Zembin, in Byelorussia, in 1898; died 1937. Soviet Jewish poet. Member of the CPSU from 1930.

Kharik volunteered for the Red Army in 1919. Between 1921 and 1923 he studied at the V. Ia. Briusov Higher Literary Institute. He made his literary debut in 1920. Kharik published his first collection of poetry, Trembling (1922), under the pen name A. Z. Zembin.

In his lyric cycles and in his best narrative poems—for example, “The Mud of Minsk” (1925), “Body and Soul” (1928), “Bread” (1930), and “Round Weeks” (1932)—Kharik dealt powerfully with the themes of the Civil War, the cultural revolution, and the restructuring of everyday life in the Jewish shtetl. Kharik’s poetry is rich in the motifs of Yiddish and Byelorussian folksongs.

WORKS

Mit laib un lebn. Moscow, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi i poemy. [Introductory article by A. Vergelis.] Moscow, 1958.
In Byelorussian translation:
Vybranye tvory. [Foreword by G. Berezkin.] Minsk, 1958.

REFERENCE

Raskin, A. “Izi Kharik.” Sovetish heimland, 1966, no. 10.
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Finally, the book gives portraits of the great writers and critics of the era, focusing particularly on the poet Izi Kharik. It is in his discussion of Kharik that Shneer is particularly successful in demonstrating that Soviet Yiddish literature was not merely "national in form, socialist in content" but was instead deeply engaged with Jewish literary forms and tropes, Jewish tradition, and with current trends in Russian literary modernism.
In 1924 the young proletarian Yiddish poet Izi Kharik preached:
He and his Belorussian counterpart Izi Kharik represented Yiddish literature on the inaugural board--the Olympus--of the Soviet Writers' Union.
This was a far cry from Izi Kharik's "pass on, pass on, you lonely grandfathers." Although the poet meets in the shtetl an old man who reads the "whining [Shimen] Frug," he underlines that there are also old people who prefer another kind of literature: his father reads the Moscow Yiddish daily Der emes (Truth).
Izi Kharik was among the first to articulate what was then still a
(3.) Izi Kharik, "Antloyfn?" Yiddish text in A shpigl oyf