Russian Jewish Culture


Date: August 29 (Mon)

Time: 12:15 PM

Where: Evanston Public Library

Bio: Irwin Weil was born in 1928 in CincinnatiOhio of German Jewish and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. His father Sidney was a former owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Initially majoring in economics at the University of Chicago, he was drawn to Slavic studies after discovering Dostoevsky‘s The Brothers Karamazovin a required literature course and being (in his words) “knocked for a loop”. He reports that he ran to a bookstore, picked up a copy of Crime and Punishment, read it in two days, and resolved to learn the language of such a great body of literature.

Weil received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1948 and his master’s degree in Slavic studies in 1951. After three years of working on a Soviet census for the U.S. Library of Congress, Weil began his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he had received aFord Foundation fellowship to work toward his doctorate in Slavic studies. After receiving the degree in 1960, he taught at Brandeis University.

While at Brandeis, Weil was a professor of Russian literature and linguistics. He was influential in the development and growth of the Slavic studies program at Brandeis. Weil’s first major work–a dissertation on the development of the writing style of Maksim Gorky–was completed in 1958. His other works include Notes on the Contemporary Soviet Literary Scene and Soviet Literary Activities.

Source: Irwin Weil, Wikipedia

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