Catalogue

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In harness : Yiddish writers' romance with communism /
Gennady Estraikh.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, c2004.
description
xi, 242 p.
ISBN
0815630522 (hardcover (cloth) : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, c2004.
isbn
0815630522 (hardcover (cloth) : alk. paper)
contents note
Kiev -- Moscow -- Offshore Soviet literature -- The new growth -- Toward Soviet realism.
catalogue key
5370709
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-10-01:
In two of Sholom Aleichem's Tevye stories, his daughters Hodel and Chava marry young communist idealists. Chava predicts that her gentile husband, Fyedka, will become "a second Gorky." Hodel's husband leaves to start a revolution and winds up in Siberian exile. In this volume in the "Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art" series, Estraikh (visiting professor, New York Univ.) provides an elegant account of that real-life generation, the first revolutionary Jewish writers who turned their Yiddish language to the service of communism. Though Aleichem's characters were fictional, he modeled them on young flesh-and-blood intellectuals who were ready to explode out of the suffocating orthodoxy of their fathers in the Eastern European shtetls. In Kiev, Moscow, Kharkov, Minsk, and New York they wrote and sang the praises of the new Soviet society. Estraikh takes his title from a Yiddish literary journal founded in 1926 by David Bergelson, the most famous Yiddish writer of that generation. Bergelson was executed along with many of his Yiddish-writing contemporaries in the paranoid Stalinist purges of August 1952. Estraikh tells this story of idealism and betrayal with touching affection. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. S. Gittleman Tufts University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2005
Choice, October 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A glimpse into the lives and times of Yiddish writers enthralled with Communism at the turn of the century through the mid-1930s. Centring mainly on the Soviet Jewish literati, but with an eye to their American counterparts, the book follows their paths from avant-garde beginnings in Kiev after the 1905 revolution to their peak in the mid-1930s.
Main Description
Here is a detailed glimpse into the lives and times of Yiddish writers enthralled with Communism at the turn of the century through the mid-1930s. Centering mainly on the Soviet Jewish literati but with an eye to their American counterparts, the book follows their paths from avant-grade beginnings in Kiev after the 1905 revolution to their peak in the mid-1930s. Notables such as David Bergelson--who helmed the short-lived Yiddish periodical called In Harness--and Der Nister and David Hodshtein come to life as do Leyb Kvitko. Peretz Markish. Itsik Fefer, Moshe Litvakov. Yekhezkel Dobrushin, and Nokhum Oislender. Gennady J. Estraikh charts the course of their artistic and political flowering and decline and considers the effects of geography--provincial vs. urban--and party politics upon literary development and aesthetics. No other book concentrates on this aspect of the Jewish intellectual scene nor has any book unveiled the scale and intensity of Yiddish Communist literary life in the 1920s and 1930s or the contributions its writers made to Jewish culture.

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