Chapter

Introduction

Allison Schachter

in Diasporic Modernisms

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812639
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919413 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812639.003.0000
Introduction

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This introduction examines the dynamics of minority-language modernist writing. I look at the efforts to establish a bilingual Jewish PEN club in Warsaw, as paradigmatic of the aesthetic and political challenges faced by minority writers. I use this example to complicate the nationalist narratives that have divided Hebrew and Yiddish literary history. The chapter underscores how Jewish writers capture the uneven relationships between their diasporic literary languages and their audiences through modernist metaliterary framing devices. I show how these modernist devices thematize the relationship between writers and their diasporic literary audiences. The chapter argues for a diasporic approach to modernism, one that roots discussions of “international” or “global” modernism in specific and locally grounded networks of literary production and reception.

Keywords: diaspora; Hebrew; Yiddish; modernism; frame stories; transnationalism; PEN Club

Chapter.  11315 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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