Review of Haim Schwarzbaum, Jewish Folklore between East and West. Collected Papers
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
In his obituary for Haim Schwarzbaum (1911-1983), Dov Noy tells that upon his arrival at Bloomington, Indiana in 1952 to begin his graduate studies, Stith Thompson asked him whether he knew Haim Schwarzbaum in Israel. He did not, and Professor Thompson invited Dov Noy to his office and showed him the thick file of correspondence that he conducted with Schwarzbaum, saying: "You should know that I correspond with over a hundred folklorists worldwide, and your Haim Schwarzbaum is the most erudite of them all" (Noy 1986, 88). At the time Schwarzbaum was in his early forties. Most of his publications to that date appeared in the literary supplement of newspapers; only two of his articles were published in Hebrew scholarly journals (GANUZ 1984, 10). Yet in his private scholarly correspondence he had already demonstrated his overflowing erudition to be deserving of such an accolade from the leading folktale scholar of our time. Folklorists learned about his scholarly acumen only in the late fifties, when his articles began to appear regularly in scholarly publications.