Marc Chagall and His Times: A Documentary Narrativeby Benjamin Harshav
This book presents a new and comprehensive biography of one of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century in dialogue with the events and ideologies of his time. It includes hundreds of private letters and documents written by Chagall and his contemporaries in Russian, Yiddish, French, English, and other languages, translated by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav into English and placed in their personal and historical context. The narrative encompasses Chagall's long life (1887-1985) in Russia, France, and the United States, as well as in Germany and Israel. It also explores his deep roots in folk culture, his personal relationships and loves, and his involvement with the art of the Russian Revolution, Surrealism, Communism, Zionism, Yiddish literature, and the State of Israel. The book exposes the complex relationships between Chagall's three cultural identities: Jewish, Russian, and French. It is a biography of the turbulent times of the twentieth century and the transformations of a Jew in it -- his meteoric rise from the "ghetto" of the Russian Pale of Settlement to the centers of modern culture.
Marc Chagall and His Times provides a major contribution to the understanding of some of the central problems of modern art: originality, the interaction between the formal discoveries of the avant garde and cultural or multi-cultural representation, and the relations between an artist's art and his personal biography
"[Marc Chagall on Art and Culture and Marc Chagall and His Times] represent important contributions to the fields of art history, twentieth-century history, and Russian studies, and Marc Chagall and His Times in particular will, I suspect, be a standard work for those studying Chagall's life for years to come."Canadian Journal of History/ Annales canadiennes of d'histoire
Meet the Author
Benjamin Harshav is Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at Yale University. Among his many books are The Meaning of Yiddish (Stanford, 1990) Language in Time of Revolution (Stanford, 1993) and Marc Chagall on Art and Culture (Stanford, 2003).
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