“In the Sight of a World That Knows Them but Little”: A Letter from 玛丽Antin to Ellery Sedgwick

玛丽·安廷给埃勒里·塞奇威克的信,1911年6月1日 手稿



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    这封信, 玛丽·安廷1911年6月1日写给埃勒里·塞奇威克的信, 两位通讯员之间的第一次通信是在 埃勒里·塞奇威克的论文. Antin’s letter is in response to suggested edits and critiques of her short story, “马林凯语的赎罪.“作为编辑的 《利记APP官网手机版》 杂志, 塞奇威克在杂志上发表了安廷的几篇文章, 包括她的自传, 应许之地.


    Maryashe Antin was born on 13 June 1881 to Israel Pinchus and Esther (Weltman) Antin in Polotsk 在俄罗斯的定居点,也就是现在的白俄罗斯. In 1891, 以色列·安提恩移民到美国, 定居在波士顿的西区. 虽然他在这段时间里努力谋生, 他存了足够的钱,让家人在1894年与他团聚.

    一到波士顿,玛丽·安廷和她的兄弟姐妹们就开始上学了. Her father saw education as a tool that would allow his children to prosper in their new country, 正如Antin所写的 应许之地:

    他的孩子应该是学生, should fill his house with books and intellectual company; and thus he would walk by proxy in the Elysian Fields of liberal learning. As for the children themselves, he knew no surer way to their advancement and happiness.

    安廷证明了自己是一个熟练的学生和有才华的作家. She moved up four grades in six months and had a poem “Snow” published at the age of 13. By 1899, Antin was hailed as “Boston’s Latest Literary Prodigy” in the 波士顿星期日邮报 为了她的第一次出版 从普罗茨克到波士顿 (出版商拼错了安廷家乡的名字), in which she translated letters written to an uncle in Polotsk from Yiddish to English. Her 1901 marriage to geologist Amadeus William Grabau (1870-1946), as well as her college experiences at Columbia Teacher’s College (1901-1902) and Barnard College (1902-1904), introduced her to a wider circle of friends and supporters of her work.


    安廷的经历并不常见. 她运用了自己的声音和影响力, 无论是在她的作品中还是在她的巡回演讲中, 支持移民. 1914年,她的第三本书, They Who Knock at Our Gates: A Complete Gospel of Immigration,已出版. 写于仇外情绪高涨的时代, Antin advocates for progressive immigration within the context of American democratic ideals. 这种仇外心理也出现在安廷的波士顿. 随着爱尔兰人的加入,这座城市发生了变化, 意大利, 和犹太移民, 乔纳森·萨尔纳和艾伦·史密斯来信 波士顿的犹太人, “The optimistic Yankee humanitarian belief in the power of education and democracy to affect immigrant uplift gave way to a devouring fear: some members of old-line families came to believe their race, 他们的国家, 他们的整个生活方式都受到了威胁.”

    But “the power of education and democracy” was embedded in 玛丽Antin’s ethos, 她对这些机构深信不疑. The opportunity that greeted her in Boston and America was the antithesis of the draconian Russian rule and antisemitism her family and millions of other Jews fled during this time, 她希望其他人也能分享. She frequently spoke to groups about her experience and the importance of civics and democracy and campaigned against proposed anti-immigration legislation before Congress. Attitudes towards immigration continued to move away from Antin’s own, 然而. In 1917, 国会通过了对移民的读写能力测试, followed by the restrictive immigration acts of 1921 and 1924.


    Although Antin wrote about her own experience in a largely positive way, this letter identifies some of the concerns and challenges she faced in writing about the cultural and religious lives of Eastern European Jews for a broad American public. 尚不清楚塞奇威克是否, 来自一个有着深厚新英格兰根基的上层阶级家庭, 熟悉这段历史吗, 但他很熟悉他的读者. In her letter to Sedgwick, Antin acknowledges this disconnect:

    Your praise, I must confess, flatters me; some of it surprises me. I can never know just what my 马林凯语 or my Rösele looks like in your eyes, no matter how fully you express yourself; but what you and others have said does give me some idea of the figures my poor Jewish people make when standing detached from their overwhelming history, 在世人眼中,他们对他们知之甚少. 马林凯语, 对我来说, is 马林凯语 with a thousand years of Jewish sorrows behind her, 和一千年空洞的希望. It is when I hear from my critics that I realize how little has been recorded of those centuries upon centuries. I must by all means bear in mind the fact that not all things are in the reader’s mind which are in the author’s.

    “马林凯语的赎罪” is a story of a poor young girl in Polotsk who questions Jewish law and finds her faith tested—but is rewarded for her test of faith by receiving an education with the Rabbi. 这是一个非常不同的生活方式的故事, 这是安廷曾经认识但早已遗忘的. That Antin has a deep sense of responsibility towards these Jewish characters—and the real people they are surrogates of—is clear in this passage. While we know from this letter Sedgwick suggested shortening the story, it is not until his response that we know he also suggested eliminating Russian terms (it is notable, 然而, 那是意第绪语 不可食用的(意思是“不洁食”). The continuing correspondence between the two highlights their mutual respect for each other’s work; from Sedgwick’s autobiography, 我们知道他觉得安提恩“被逼醒了” 大西洋 丰富的生活从一个新的季度开始.”


    一战期间, Antin struggled with her husband’s pro-German loyalties while she rallied for the Allied cause. The difficulties in their marriage caused serious health issues for Antin, 她退出了公众生活. In 1919, Grabau left the United States for China, where he taught geology at Peking University. 安廷离开纽约前往马萨诸塞州, 她在波士顿的哪个地方, 温彻斯特, 和古尔德农场, 这是大巴林顿的一个住宿治疗社区. 1949年5月15日,她在纽约的萨芬去世.


    作者:Stephanie Call,手稿馆长

    Jewish history collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society


    Antin,玛丽. 从普罗茨克到波士顿 波士顿:W.B. 克拉克 & Co.公园街教堂,1899年.

    ----. “马林凯语的赎罪,《利记APP官网手机版》,1911年9月,页. 300-319.

    ----. 应许之地 波士顿:霍顿米夫林出版社,1912年.

    ----. 他们敲我们的门: A Complete Gospel of Immigration Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914.

    "波士顿最新的天才" 波士顿星期日邮报, 1899年2月12日,页. 13. Available online through Newspaper存档 (an online database); Boston Public Library card holders may access through the BPL's 报纸网页.

    麦克吉尼蒂,凯伦·R. 《真正的玛丽·安汀:在应许之地执行任务的女人,美国犹太人历史, 卷. 86, no. 3 (1998), p. 285–307.

    帕梅拉·纳德尔. "玛丽Antin," 沙维/海曼犹太女性百科全书犹太妇女档案馆,2021年6月23日. (2024年4月22日)

    乔纳森·萨尔纳、艾伦·史密斯和斯科特-马丁·科索夫斯基编. 波士顿的犹太人第二届. 康涅狄格州纽黑文.:耶鲁大学出版社,2005.

    塞奇威克,埃勒里. 快乐的职业 波士顿:利特尔、布朗和公司,1926年.