Comparative Literature | Fantasy, Realism, & Fiction: The First Century of Modern Yiddish Lit (1810-1914)
C300 | 1125 | Kerler, D


Section meets COAS Arts & Humanities requirement
Section carries cultural studies credit
Section fulfills Jewish Studies Language or Literature; or History
or Society course

Section meets with Y300/Y505

Class Meets:  TR 4:00-5:15    KH 212

Modern Yiddish culture draws much of its strength and pride from the
major achievements of modern Yiddish literature which originated in
the 19th century Russia and Poland. Evolving in part from
traditional and folk genres (many of which can be traced back to the
16th century and earlier), it soon adopted contemporary models of
European fiction and literary creativity and adapted them to both
the context of traditional Jewish literacy and the common experience
of East European Jews and their social, cultural, and national
aspirations. This course aims to offer a detailed survey of some of
the major trends of the first century of Modern Yiddish literature
with emphasis on its historical and formal aspects. Yiddish works
that will be read in English translation will include a selection of
tales by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772-1810), short novels and
stories by Yisroel Aksenfeld (1787-1866), Mendele Moykher Sforim
(1836-1917), Sholom Aleichem (1859- 1916), Y.L. Peretz (1851-1915),
and the famous drama Der Dybbuk by Sh. Ansky (1863-1920). Discussion
and analysis of these works will be devoted to their fundamental
cultural and historical context, their role in rediscovering and
shaping the aesthetics of a young modern literature, as well as the
interplay between satire, 'ethnographism", realism, and symbolism.

Required Texts:
Abramovitsh, S.Y. "Tales of Mendele the Book Pedler (Benjamin the
Third)"
Ansky, Shloyme, "The DYBBUK and Other Writings"
Neugroschel, Joachim  "The SHTETL: A Creative Anthology of Jewish
Life in Eastern Europe" (translated and edited by Joachim
Neugroschel)
Peretz, Y.L., "The I.L. Peretz Reader
Sholom Aleichem, "TEVYE THE DAIRYMAN and THE RAILROAD STORIES"