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Emanuel Litvinoff Born Bethnal Green, London, England Residence London, United Kingdom Nationality British Occupation Writer Known for Autobiography, Poetry, Plays, Human Rights Website Emanuel Litvinoff (born May 5, 1915) is a British writer and human rights campaigner, and is a well known figure in Anglo-Jewish literature. Contents 1 Background 2 T. S. Eliot confrontation 3 Human rights campaigning 4 Literary works 5 External links 6 Notes 7 References // Background He is known for novels and short stories, and as a poet and playwright. His early years in what he frequently describes as a Jewish ghetto[1] in the East End of London made him very conscious of his Jewish identity. Litvinoff chronicled these early years in what is perhaps his best-known work, Journey Through a Small Planet. T. S. Eliot confrontation Litvinoff is also well known for being one of the first to raise publicly the implications of T. S. Eliot's negative references to Jews in a number of poems, a controversy that continues, in his famous poem To T. S. Eliot. This protest against T. S. Eliot on the subject of anti-Semitism took place at an inaugural poetry reading for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1951. Litvinoff, an admirer of Eliot, was appalled to find Eliot republishing lines he had written in the 1920s about 'money in furs' and the 'protozoic slime' of Bleistein's "lustreless, protrusive eye" only a few years after the Holocaust, in his Selected Poems of 1948. When Litvinoff got up to announce the poem at the ICA reading, the event's host, Sir Herbert Read, declared, "Oh Good, Tom's just come in," referring to Eliot (Thomas Stearns, nickname: Tom). Despite feeling "nervous",[2] Litvinoff decided that "the poem was entitled to be read" and proceeded to recite it to the packed but silent room: So shall I say it is not eminence chills but the snigger from behind the covers of history, the sly words and the cold heart and footprints made with blood upon a continent? Let your words tread lightly on this earth of Europe lest my people’s bones protest.[3] In the pandemonium after Litvinoff read the poem, T. S. Eliot reportedly stated, "It's a good poem, it's a very good poem."[4] Human rights campaigning In the 1950s, on a rare Western visit to Russia with his wife, Cherry Marshall, and her fashion show, Litvinoff became aware of the plight of persecuted Soviet Jews, and started a world campaign against this persecution. One of his methods was editing the newsletter Jews in Eastern Europe[5] and also lobbying eminent figures of the twentieth century such as Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and others to join the campaign. Due to Litvinoff's efforts, prominent Jewish groups in the United States became aware of the issue, and the well-being of Soviet Jews became a worldwide campaign.[6] Literary works Conscripts (1941) The Untried Soldier (1942) A Crown for Cain (1948) poems The Lost Europeans (1960) The Man Next Door (1968) Journey Through a Small Planet (1972) A Death Out of Season (1973) Notes for a Survivor (1973) Soviet Anti-Semitism: The Paris Trial (1974) Blood on the Snow (1975) The Face of Terror (1978) The Penguin Book of Jewish Short Stories (1979) editor Falls the Shadow (1983)[citation needed] External links Emanuel Litvinoff – Official Website "Filmography: LITVINOFF, Emanuel" at the British Film Institute (BFI) Notes ^ "The Roots of Writing: With Bernard Kops, Emanuel Litvinoff, Harold Pinter, Arnold Wesker; Chair: Melvyn Bragg: Gala Festival Opening Event, In association with the Jewish Quarterly," 2003 Jewish Book Week, (Archive), March 1, 2003, accessed July 7, 2008. (Session transcript.) ^ Hannah Burman, "Emanuel Litvinoff: Full Interview", London's Voices: Voices Online, Museum of London, conducted on March 11, 1998, accessed July 7, 2008. ^ Excerpt from "To T. S. Eliot", in Emanuel Litvinoff, Journey Through A Small Planet (London: Penguin Classics, 2008). ^ As qtd. in Dannie Abse, A Poet in the Family (London: Hutchinson, 1974) 203. ^ ^ References Interviews Burman, Hannah. "Emanuel Litvinoff: Full Interview". London's Voices: Voices Online. Museum of London. Conducted on March 11, 1998. Accessed July 7, 2008. (Summary and transcript of the interview, covering Litvinoff's life up to the 1950s.) "The Roots of Writing: With Bernard Kops, Emanuel Litvinoff, Harold Pinter, Arnold Wesker; Chair: Melvyn Bragg: Gala Festival Opening Event, In association with the Jewish Quarterly". 2003 Jewish Book Week. (Archive), March 1, 2003. Accessed July 7, 2008. (Session transcript and recorded audio clip.) Persondata Name Litvinoff, E Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Bethnal Green, London, England Date of death Place of death