A Dybbuk Trilogy, or How the Maiden of Ludmir Became a Literary Figure

Nathaniel Deutsch

in The Maiden of Ludmir

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520231917
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927971 | DOI:
A Dybbuk Trilogy, or How the Maiden of Ludmir Became a Literary Figure

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter addresses the scenes in the dybbuk trilogy, first examining Stella Klein's recollection of Bela-Risha's possession. It then explains Ansky's Between Two Worlds: The Dybbuk. The third scene is S. A. Horodezky's 1909 Russian-language article on the Maiden of Ludmir. These scenes share the same basic story: a young Volhynian girl who is engaged to be married visits the grave of her dead parent(s) before the wedding and is possessed by a dybbuk. Their juxtaposition raises the cluster of issues, namely how, why, and when stories about the Maiden of Ludmir entered the public imagination, and whether it is possible to untangle the complex web of interrelationships among the different accounts of her life. At a time when women in Kilchizne still cried for the “Moid” when their children fell ill, Ansky and Horodezky, especially, began the process of communicating her story to the wider world.

Keywords: dybbuk trilogy; Stella Klein; Ansky; S. A. Horodezky; Maiden of Ludmir; The Dybbuk; Bela-Risha's possession

Chapter.  9713 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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