Leo Wiener

1862 — 1939

Entry 10244


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About Leo Wiener

Leo Wiener was an American historian, linguist, author and translator.

Wiener was born in Białystok (then in the Russian Empire), of Polish-Jewish origin. His father was Zalmen (Solomon) Wiener, and his mother was Frejda Rabinowicz. He studied at the University of Warsaw in 1880, and then at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin. Wiener later declared, "Having 'for many years been a member of the Unitarian Church,' and having 'preached absolute amalgamation with the Gentile surroundings', [I] 'never allied with the Jewish Church or with Jews as such."

Wiener left Europe with the plan of founding a vegetarian commune in British Honduras (now Belize). He sailed steerage to New Orleans. On his arrival, in 1880, he had no money. After travel and work around the US, he went to Kansas City, Missouri, and became a lecturer in the department of Germanic and Romance languages at the University of Kansas. He was a polyglot, and was reputed to speak thirty languages well.

Wiener published articles on Yiddish linguistic elements in Polish, German, Ukrainian, and Belorussian. In 1898, Wiener traveled to Europe to collect material for his book The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century (1899). Isaac Peretz encouraged him and Abraham Harkavy, librarian at the Asiatic Museum of St. Petersburg, presented him with a thousand Yiddish books, which formed the basis of the Yiddish collection of the Harvard University library. After this project Wiener's interest in Yiddish declined.

Beginning in 1896, Wiener lectured on Slavic cultures at Harvard University and became the first American professor of Slavic literature. He compiled a valuable anthology of Russian literature and translated 24 volumes of Leo Tolstoy's works into English, a task which he completed in 24 months. He taught George Rapall Noyes.

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My Dear Crosby: -- I am very glad to hear of your activity and that it is beginning to attract attention. Fifty years ago Garrison's proclamation of nonresistance only cooled people toward him, and the whole fifty years' activity of Ballou in this direction was met with stubborn silence. I read with great pleasure in Peace the beautiful ideas of the American authors in regard to nonresistance. I make an exception only in the case of Mr. Bemis's old, unfounded opinion, which calumniates Christ in assuming that Christ's expulsion of the cattle from the temple means that he struck the men with a whip, and commanded his disciples to do likewise. The ideas expressed by these writers, especially by H. Newton and G. Herron, are beautiful, ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
" Davydka the White asked for grain and posts," it said in the note-book after Yukhvanka. After passing several huts, Nekhlyudov, in turning into a lane, met his steward, Yakov Alpatych, who, upon noticing his master at a distance, doffed his oilcloth cap, and, taking out his fulled handkerchief, began to wipe his fat, red face. " Put it on, Yakov ! Yakov, put it on, I tell you — " " Where have you been, your Grace ? " asked Yakov, protecting himself with his cap against the sun, but not donning it. " I have been at Yukhvanka the Shrewd' s. Tell me, if you please, what has made him so bad," said the master, continuing on his way. " Why so, your Grace ? " replied the manager, following the master at a resp... (From: Wikisource.org.)
In ancient times there lived not far from Jerusalem two brothers, the elder named Athanasius, and the younger John. They lived in a mountain, not far from the city, and supported themselves on what people offered them. The brothers passed all their days at work. They worked not for themselves, but for the poor. Wherever were those who were oppressed by labor, or sick people, or orphans, or widows, thither the brothers went, and there they worked, and received no pay. Thus the two brothers passed the whole week away from each other, and met only on Saturday evening in their abode. On Sunday alone did they stay at home, and then they prayed and talked with each other. And an angel of the Lord came down to them and blessed them. On Monday they... (From: Wikisource.org.)
It was, I think, in the year 1881 that Turgénev, during a visit at my house, took a French novel, under the name of Maison Tellier, out of his satchel and gave it to me. That's it! "Read it, if you have a chance," he said, apparently with indifference, just as the year before he had handed me a number of the Russian Wealth, in which there was an article by Garshin, who was making his debut. Evidently, as in the case of Garshin, so even now, he was afraid he might influence me in one way or another, and wished to know my uninfluenced opinion. "He is a young French author," he said; "look at it, – it is not bad; he knows you and esteems you very much," he added, as though to encourage me. "As a man he reminds me of Dr... (From: Wikisource.org.)

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An icon of a baby.
Birth Day.

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Death Day.

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June 14, 2021; 4:43:54 PM (UTC)
Added to https://revoltlib.com.

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January 10, 2022; 1:30:44 PM (UTC)
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