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This book offers original insights into modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish literatures, including a new interpretation of Franz Kafka's place within them and discussions of Sholem Aleichem, Sh. Y. Abramovitsh, Akhad ha'am, M. Y. Berditshevsky, Kh. N. Bialik, and Y. L. Peretz.
Miron (Hebrew and comparative literature, Columbia U.) brings extraordinary depth and breadth of thought to his work; he is the author of some than 30 volumes of literary scholarship and criticism in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, German, and Russian. He describes the present volume in a prologue as "... focusing on argument rather than offering solid proof, offering an ongoing narrative rather than being historically descriptive, being argumentative and conceptual rather than mimetic." He begins with discussion of the "old" Jewish literary discourse and the illusion of Israeli cultural normalcy. Subsequent chapters address modern Jewish literary thinking--the enlightenment and advent of nationalism and then proceed through time: the 19th & 20th centuries literary renaissance, the interbellum decades--Hebrew, and Yiddish issues; Franz Kafka, and his contiguity with Sholem Aleichem. The concluding chapter looks toward new and freshly illuminating discourse. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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