Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Literature and Culture in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse

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Overview


Over the past four decades Ruth R. Wisse has been a leading scholar of Yiddish and Jewish literary studies in North America, and one of our most fearless public intellectuals on issues relating to Jewish society, culture, and politics. In this celebratory volume, edited by four of her former students, Wisse's colleagues take as a starting point her award-winning book The Modern Jewish Canon (2000) and explore an array of topics that touch on aspects of Yiddish, Hebrew, Israeli, American, European, and Holocaust literature. Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon brings together writers both seasoned and young, from both within and beyond the academy, to reflect the diversity of Wisse's areas of expertise and reading audiences. The volume also includes a translation of one of the first modern texts on the question of Jewish literature, penned in 1888 by Sholem Aleichem, as well as a comprehensive bibliography of Wisse's scholarship. In its richness and heft, Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon itself constitutes an important scholarly achievement in the field of modern Jewish literature.
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Meet the Author

Dara Horn
Dara Horn is the author of the novels In the Image and The World to Come.

?Alyssa Quint is Professor of Jewish Literature, Princeton University.

?Rachel Rubinstein is Jeremiah Kaplan Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish-American Literature and Culture, Hampshire College.

Marion Aptroot is Professor of Yiddish Culture, Language, and Literature at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf.

Jeremy Dauber is Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

Michael Kimmage is Associate Professor of History, Catholic University of America.

David G. Roskies is the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Jed Dewey Wyrick is Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at California State University, Chico.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Part I: Making a Canon
  • Writing Jewish
    Hillel Halkin
  • Knocking on Heaven’s Gate: Hebrew Literature and Wisse’s Canon
    Alan Mintz
  • Holocaust Literature: Foreshadowings and Shadowings
    David Aberbach
  • Of Jews and Canons: Further Thoughts
    Ilan Stavans
  • A Jewish Artistic Canon
    Ezra Mendelsohn
  • Judging The Judgment of Shomer: Jewish Literautre versus Jewish Reading
    Justin Cammy
  • The Judgment of Shomer or The Jury Trial of All of Shomer’s Novels
    Sholem Aleichem, translated by Justin Cammy
  • Part II: Reading Wisse’s Canonical Authors

  • Daniel Deronda: “The Zionist Fate in English Hands” and “The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews”
    Edward Alexander
  • The Pleasure of Disregarding Red Lights: A Reading of Sholem Aleichem’s “Monologue ‘A Nisref’”
    Dan Miron
  • The Hershele Maze: Isaac Babel and his Ghost Reader
    Sasha Senderovich
  • The Open Suitcases: Yankev Glatshteyn’s Ven Yash Iz Gekumen
    Avarham Novershtern
  • Seductions and Disputations: Pseudo-Dialogues in the Fiction of Isaace Bashevis Singer
    Miriam Udel-Lambert
  • Gimpel the Simple and on Reading from Right to Left
    David G. Roskies
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Short Story “Androgynous”
    Susanne Klingenstein
  • Building Bridges Destined to Fall: Biological and Literary Paternity in Appelfeld’s The Ice Mine
    Philip Hollander
  • Life/Writing: Aharon Appelfeld’s Autobiographical Work and the Modern Jewish Canon
    Naomi B. Sokoloff
  • Henry Roth, Hebrew, and the Unspeakable
    Hana Wirth-Nesher
  • The Modern Hero as Schlemiel: The Swede in Philip Roth’s American Pastoral
    Michael Kimmage
  • Part III: Conversations Across Canons and Between Texts

  • Innovation by Translation: Yiddish and Hasidic Hebrew in Literary History
    Ken Frieden
  • Creating Yiddish Dialogue for “The First Modern Yiddish Comedy”
    Marion Aptroot
  • The Smoke of Civilization: The Dialectic of Enlightenment in Sh. Y. Abramovitsh’s Di Klyatshe
    Marc Caplan
  • Yiddish Canon Consciousness and the Dionysiac Spirit of Music
    Jed Wyrick
  • Joyce’s Yiddish: Modernism, Translation, and the Jews
    Rachel Rubenstein
  • The Transmission of Poetic Anger: An Unexploded Shell in the Jewish Canon
    Janet Hadda
  • Guilt, Mourning, Idol Worship, and Golem Writing: The Symptoms of a Jewish Literary Canon
    Emily Miller Budick
  • Part IV: Interventions: Expanding Wisse’s Canon

  • What’s So Funny about Yiddish Theater? Comedy and the Origins of Yiddish Drama
    Jeremy Dauber
  • Naked Truths: Avrom Goldfaden’s The Fanatic of the Two Kuni-Lemls
    Alyssa Quint
  • Memory as Metaphor: Meir Wiener’s Novel Kolev Ashkenazi as Critique of the Jewish Historical Imagination
    Mikhail Krutikov
  • Shmuel Nadler’s Besht-Simfonye: At the Limits of Orthodox Literature
    Beatrice Lang Caplan
  • Chava Rosenfarb and The Tree of Life
    Goldie Morgentaler
  • Fiddles on Willow Trees: The Missing Polish Link in the Jewish Canon
    Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska
  • The Kvetcher in the Rye: J. D. Salinger and the Challenges to the Modern Jewish Canon
    Leah Garrett
  • Israeli Identity in a Post-Zionist Age
    Yaron Peleg
  • Part V. Writers, Critics, and Canons

  • Bellow’s Canon
    Jonathan Rosen
  • The Eicha Problem
    Dara Horn
  • The Grand Explainer
    Cynthia Ozick
  • Ruth Wisse Bibliography
  • Contributors

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