Blame Inna. Because great Yiddish author Chaim Grade’s wife ferociously protected—some might say jealously hoarded—her husband’s unpublished work ever since he died in 1982, and left no will when she died earlier this year, his possessions are now in the hands of the Bronx Public Administrator’s office, worrying Yiddishists who hope eventually to have a look at them. “The bureaucracy of the Bronx is not full of Yiddishists,” said the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s Jonathan Brent (or, in the Daily News’s inimitable phrasing, “Brent kvetched”). “I’m holding my breath … praying that nothing of value has been thrown away.”
So far, according to the Bronx authorities, only non-literary material like old magazines have been removed—“schlepped,” to quote the Daily News again—from the house. Institutions like YIVO and Harvard have been asked to take a look at some point.
In Tablet Magazine, Allan Nadler remembered Grade, his former teacher.
Writing of Legendary Yiddish Author Chaim Grade Could Become Trash in Hands of Bronx Bureaucrats [Daily News]
Related: Keeper of the Flame [Tablet Magazine]
Whoppers [Tablet Magazine]