bambi, so jewish

Reitter1Paul Reitter at Jewish Review of Books:

The years before the First World War mark the highpoint of Salten’s career as a Zionist speaker. He was invited back by Bar Kochba’s leaders, and when, in 1911, he made another appearance in the festive evening series, he shone just as brightly as he had the first time. But even after Zionist lecturing was mostly behind him, Salten continued to write as a Zionist. In 1924, for example, he travelled to Palestine and published a largely admiring book about what he saw there. This was soon after Salten had produced the work that would win him international fame: Bambi.

Bambi first appeared in serialized form in Vienna’s stately paper of record, the Neue Freie Presse. The book version appeared in 1923, and by then the story had established itself as one that appealed to adults and children alike. The American edition was so hotly anticipated that the fledgling Book of the Month Club ordered 50,000 copies before it had even appeared. Translated into English by Whittaker Chambers, of all people, and published in the United States in 1928, the novel was both a critical and commercial success.

more here.