Talk:Abraham Goldfaden

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Good article Abraham Goldfaden has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 25, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
August 8, 2009 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article


The article in the New York Times at the time of his funeral ("Burial of a Yiddish Poet", January 12, 1908, page 8) gives his surname as Goldfaben, but I believe that is simply an error. Being in the NYT, however, it is liable to have been reproduced elsewhere. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:48, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

Nahma Sandrow, Leon Blank[edit]

[Sandrow, 2003] is a good read, but I suspect not well researched. I am almost certain it is wrong in its disparagement of Goldfaden's own singing and acting: his many roles in his own rather professional company would seem to give the lie to that, and Bercovici cites several contemporaneous reviews that say otherwise. Also, for the story which Bercovici gives about Kalman Juvilier buying a stolen, reconstructed script of Goldfaden's Story of Isaac, he claims Juvilier's own writing as the source. Nahma Sandrow tells the same story about someone named Leon Blank. I am unaware of a Leon Blank who even dates from the proper period, though admittedly I'm not an expert. Nahma Sandrow is supposedly expert, a scholar of Yiddish; still, Bercovici, a man who had a personal library of 3,000 Yiddish-language books, makes a citation on this, and was himself a leading light of European Yiddish theater; he strikes me as the one to trust, at least on matters related more to Eastern Europe than New York. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:31, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

"better known as a good poet and something of a cafe singer"[edit]

Good article. This statement was a bit confusing, because until this statement there was no indication in the article that he was either. Jayjg | (Talk) 19:55, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. From the five paragraphs preceding:
"...he is said to have appreciated and imitated the performances of wedding jesters and Brody singers to the degree that he acquired the nickname Avromele Badkhen, "Abie the Jester"... His first published poem was called "Progress"...In 1865 he published his first book of poetry (in Hebrew), the next year he published a book of verse in Yiddish...a good pianist helped him set some of his poems to music... included with some verses in a modestly successful 1869 book..."
Seems to me that's quite a bit about poetry; admittedly not much about singing, but as indicated by "something of a cafe singer" that was never his forte. Do you think there should be more on this? -- Jmabel | Talk 22:54, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)
You're right about the poetry. However, to me it seems the article doesn't really say anything about him performing as an adult, and then he is suddenly known (even if only "somewhat") as a cafe singer. Jayjg | (Talk) 02:19, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yeah. I don't have Bercovici's book in front of me any more (I had it on interlibrary loan, and I know I can't get it again in the next few months). I didn't write down any detailed citation on this. Apparently, later in life when Goldfaden wrote an autobiography (which I believe exists only in Yiddish, but I'd be thrilled to find out otherwise), he really played down his own ability as a singer, which was by that time gone. A lot of other writers (including Sandrow) take that at face value. However, Bercovici quoted at least one contemporary report that made it clear that he was OK at it, though certainly not Grodner's peer. If/when I can get hold of Bercovici's book again, I'll try to add a citation on this. Meanwhile, if anyone else has access to Bercovici's book either in Romanian or Yiddish (I don't think there are any other translations), or has another source for this, go for it.
Jayjg, pending that, would you rather I dropped the phrase and just remarked that he was known as a poet many of whose poems had become popular songs? The point would be the same, and presumably utterly uncontroversial. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:32, Jan 16, 2005 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. I didn't really object to the previous formulation as controversial either, I just though it was a minor weakness of the article. Jayjg | (Talk) 16:18, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Contradictions and vaguenesses in sources[edit]

At first I was accumulating some of the remarks on contradictions and vaguenesses in sources in the article itself, but I can see that this is a subject where there could be a lot of these, so I've moved two of them here. -- Jmabel | Talk

  • His (short) New York Times obituary claims that he graduated from the University of Odessa, but Israil Bercovici's reasonably detailed biographical sketch makes no mention of this.
  • Bercovici mentions another writer named Bernstein as an acquaintance during his early manhood in Odessa, but provides no further identifcation. (Jan 2005)

I wrote most of this article before we were being scrupulous about footnoting; a great deal of it comes from the cited book by Bercovici, which is a pretty rare book; I was lucky to get hold of a copy for a few weeks and doubt I could again. The book has only been published in Yiddish and Romanian; I don't read Yiddish; there are only three Romanian-language copies I'm aware of in U.S. libraries (though I'm sure there are rather more in Romania). The University of Chicago was nice enough to lend me their copy on interlibrary loan via the Seattle Public Library, but university libraries don't often lend to public libraries, so they probably won't do so again; hence, unless someone gets hold of a copy, it is going to be very hard to properly footnote this. - Jmabel | Talk 00:00, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Abraham Goldfaden/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

Starting GA reassessment as part of the GA Sweeps process. Jezhotwells (talk) 18:51, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose):
    b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references):
    • There are a great number of unsourced paragraphs. It is possible that they can be sourced from the existing refereneces. Jezhotwells (talk) 19:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
      • I drew this all from the specified sources when I wrote it, but at the time it was not Wikipedia policy to footnote every individual fact, so I did not. I have no interest in trying to reassemble and re-research these sources: for example, Bercovici's book is available only in Yiddish (which I do not read) and Romanian (3 copies in the U.S., to my knowledge: I managed to borrow one from the University of Chicago, through Seattle Public Library, but doubt I could do so again). - Jmabel | Talk 01:37, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
    • OK, I am prepared to accept in good faith that the unsourced sections are supported by Bercovici as you have specified that it is the primary source. Jezhotwells (talk) 02:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
    b (citations to reliable sources):
    • I note concerns about ref #15 [1] and ref #17 Jezhotwells (talk) 19:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
      • Just for clarity: reference 17, Bercovici, is probably the best possible source on Goldfaden's time in Romania (or, really, on anything about 19th century Yiddish theater in Romania), but it seems only honest to report where other presumably decent sources disagree with him. I believe that Wikipedia policy is simply that we cite both for what they each say. - Jmabel | Talk 01:34, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
    • I accept that - as no-one has challenged any of the article on sourcing I will accept this in good faith. Jezhotwells (talk) 02:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
    c (OR):
    • Uncertain until article is fully referenced. Green tickY Jezhotwells (talk) 19:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
      • As I indicate in the references section, Bercovici is the primary source for the article. Please see my remarks above on why I am not likely to be able to re-research. If someone (probably in Romania, or who can read Yiddish and has access to a Yiddish copy) wants to work on this, I'd welcome it, but I don't see myself having the opportunity. - Jmabel | Talk 02:10, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
      • In fact, see my 6 October 2006 remark on just this. - Jmabel | Talk 03:56, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  3. It is broad in its scope.
    a (major aspects):
    b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales):
    b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    • On hold for seven days whilst above concerns are dealt with. Major contributors and projects will be informed. Jezhotwells (talk) 19:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
    I accept that this article was correctly sourced at the time of its promotion to GA status and the criteria suggest that only controversial statements need to be cited with in-line citations. I will confirm the status of this as a Good article, but would urge that editors work to find further sourcing as opportunities present themselves. Jezhotwells (talk) 02:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC)