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DHCL with Dan Miron

Dan Miron (Columbia University)

What is 'Classic' about 'Classical' Yiddish Literature

Whereas before World War I the so-called 'New Yiddish Literature' was hardly recognized as a 'national' literature, right after the war it suddenly was supposed to possess an exemplary, 'classical' past.  What caused this shift in the literature's self appreciation, and what did it tell about its artistic and ideational re-organization? The talk will delineate the common characteristics of Yiddish 'classical' writing, and show how by ascribing 'classicism' to them Yiddish Modernism shaped its own, contradictory, self-image.