Slippery Selves: Rachel Bluvstein and Anna Margolin in Poetry and in Public
Abstract

The Hebrew poetry of Rachel Bluvstein is strikingly different from the Yiddish poetry of Anna Margolin, yet both poets are remembered in the popular imagination and in scholarly literature first and foremost as women. While the appearance of these writers during the 1920s reflects the changing place of women in Jewish culture, it also calls attention to constructions of gendered authorial selves in poetry and in public. Moving between Rachel's iconic face and Margolin's self-described shattered visage, this article explores differences between modernist writing by women in Hebrew and in Yiddish, as well as similarities between poets confronting literary establishments that presume a male author. Both Rachel and Margolin draw on minimalist models, specifically aspects of Russian Acmeism, to fashion sophisticated lyric personas that negotiate gender and identity, but their aesthetic efforts are overshadowed by widespread critical and popular constructions of femininity.


pdf