- Khave and Her Sisters: Sholem-aleichem and the Lost Girls of 1905
- Jewish Social Studies
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 15, Number 3, Spring/Summer 2009 (New Series)
- pp. 1-38
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article addresses the historical circumstances and literary consequences of Sholemaleichem's departure from Russia in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1905. Sholemaleichem's attempts to address revolutionary violence in writing—in feuilletons as well as in fictions such as "Khave," the fourth story in the Tevye cycle, and the 1907 novel called The Flood (Der mabl)—suggest that the events of 1905 represented a defining moment in the development of Sholem-aleichem's literary persona and in the evolution of his views of modern Jewish literature. Sholem-aleichem's sense of identification with Khave and Tamara, his "lost girls of the revolution," rebellious heroines with non-Jewish lovers, signified the writer's profound alienation from the Jewish political narrative of pogrom violence and his embrace of a deliberately provocative secular aesthetic, characteristic of some of his most famous post-revolutionary monologues and the popular novels Motl, the Cantor's Son, Wandering Stars, and The Bloody Hoax.