Serge Liberman. A story


  • Arnold Zable



Serge Liberman, storyteller, physician, displacement, exile, longing


A portrait of Serge Liberman, as I knew him, drawing parallels between his work as a physician and writer. As a storyteller Serge drew on many sources. My focus here is on his roots, as an emigrant, and as a doctor who practiced in immigrant neighbourhoods, Carlton and Brunswick. He wrote in the tradition of earlier Melbourne based immigrant Yiddish writers, Pinchas Goldhar and Bergner, exploring similar themes of displacement, exile and longing. He drew also on older traditions of Yiddish literature, writers such as Isaac Bashevis Singer. But Serge was more forgiving of human foibles, less judgemental, a documenter of symptoms, both in the consulting room, and at the writer’s desk. Here, I pay tribute to him, as one storyteller to another, in the form of a story about Serge, the storyteller, and friend.