Yiddish Modernism in Weimar Berlin

Allison Schachter

in Diasporic Modernisms

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812639
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919413 | DOI:
Yiddish Modernism in Weimar Berlin

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In his interwar prose fiction, written in Weimar Berlin, Dovid Bergelson rewrites the traditional Jewish tropes of exile and diaspora to situate Yiddish both within the changing Jewish linguistic and cultural polysystem, and within interwar European literary culture. He captures the trials of Yiddish literature through his characters’ psychological anguish and suicides. However, he encloses their personal suffering in frame stories that situate his characters’ psychological breakdowns within the historical contexts of World War I, the dissolution of Yiddish, the radical force of revolution, and the new sexual politics of the post-World War I era. Bergelson’s stories waver between realism and allegory, capturing the disrupted and fractured spatio-temporalities of Yiddish culture and the Yiddish language.

Keywords: Weimar Berlin; Dovid Bergelson; Yiddish; modernism; allegory; “The Baritone,”; “Among emigrants,”; “The Boarding House of the Three Sisters; German-Jewish modernism

Chapter.  16324 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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