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From Continuity to Contiguity: Toward a New Jewish Literary by Dan Miron

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By Dan Miron

Dan Miron—widely famous as one of many world's top specialists on glossy Jewish literatures—begins this research via surveying and critiquing past makes an attempt to outline a typical denominator unifying a number of the sleek Jewish literatures. He argues that those earlier efforts have all been trapped via the necessity to see those literatures as a continuum. Miron seeks to wreck via this deadlock via acknowledging discontinuity because the staple attribute of contemporary Jewish writing. those literatures in its place shape a fancy of self sustaining, but touching, parts comparable via contiguity. From Continuity to Contiguity deals unique insights into smooth Hebrew, Yiddish, and different Jewish literatures, together with a brand new interpretation of Franz Kafka's position inside them and discussions of Sholem Aleichem, Sh. Y. Abramovitsh, Akhad ha'am, M. Y. Berditshevsky, Kh. N. Bialik, and Y. L. Peretz.

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Extra resources for From Continuity to Contiguity: Toward a New Jewish Literary Thinking (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C)

Example text

Berditchevsky was fully conversant in German aesthetics and critical literature. S. Zemach attended Henri Bergson’s public lectures and steeped himself in current French, German, and Russian aesthetic and literary lore. Viner absorbed in the 1920s all modernist theoretical trends then current in Vienna, Berlin, and Zurich, and later delved into Marxist theory in both German and Russian. Others did not lag far behind. This fact in itself created a situation that made the developing of theoretical arguments in either Hebrew or Yiddish—with both languages still not ready for highly conceptualized literary discourse— quite unnecessary.

The abstinence from conceptualism and overt theoretical considerations was the direct result of the historical-cultural situation or situations in which the Jewish literatures had been created before the onset of World War II and the subsequent rise of the State of Israel. These situations were so drastically altered after the war, the Holocaust, and the establishing of the Jewish polity that most of us today can hardly conjure a vague mental image of their erstwhile reality. We have to exert ourselves, making a deliberate effort of the historical imagination to remind ourselves of how and what they were.

Or was it the language of the oppressed Jewish proletariat, as well as other exploited and marginalized minorities (like women)—vis-à-vis the non-Jewish languages spoken by the assimilated Jewish plutocracy, the rabbinical Hebrew through which the clerical establishment (historically the ally of the plutocracy) conducted its halakhic business, or the modern, quasi-secularized Hebrew favored by the chauvinistic lower-middle class?

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