In this Book

Indiana University Press
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How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture -- in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman -- led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. Part 1: Breathing free in the new world: transcendentalism and the jewish soul
  2. pp. 13-15
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  1. 1: Songs of a Semite: Emma Lazarus and the Muse of History
  2. pp. 16-36
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  1. 2: Ecstasies of the Credulous:Mary Antin and the Spirit of the Shtetl
  2. pp. 37-52
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  1. Part 2: Battling the nativists: mystics, prophets, and rebels in interwar america
  2. pp. 53-55
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  1. 3: ‘‘Pilgrim to a Forgotten Shrine’’: Ludwig Lewisohn and the Recovery of the Inner Jew
  2. pp. 56-75
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  1. 4: Modernist Flasks, Jewish Wine: Waldo Frank and the Immanence of God
  2. pp. 76-92
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  1. 5: Cinderella’s Dybbuk: Anzia Yezierska as the Voice of Generations [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 93-118
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  1. Part 3: Yiddish interlude
  2. pp. 119-120
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  1. 6: From Heine to Whitman: The Yiddish Poets Come to America
  2. pp. 121-142
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  1. Part 4: ‘‘Orating in New Yorkese’’: the languages of jewishness in postwar America
  2. pp. 143-146
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  1. 7: ‘‘My Private Orthodoxy’’: Alfred Kazin’s Romantic Judaism
  2. pp. 147-170
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  1. 8: The Jewish Writer Flies at Twilight: Irving Howe and the Recovery of Yiddishkayt
  2. pp. 171-191
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 192-199
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 201-224
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 225-239
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. 109-117
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780253000286
Related ISBN
9780253350817
MARC Record
OCLC
298134996
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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