State University of New York Press

SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture

Sarah Blacher Cohen

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture

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Accidents of Influence

Writing as a Woman and a Jew in America

For Norma Rosen, the Holocaust is the central event of the twentieth century. In this book, she examines the relationship of post-Holocaust writers to their work in terms of subject, language, imagery, and facing up to the task of writing in a post-Holocaust era. She considers the work of such major influences on our time as T. S. Eliot, Simone Weil, Anne Frank, E. L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Eugenio Montale, Philip Roth, and Saul Bellow. Accidents of Influence combines critical analysis with personal response and autobiographical moments. It includes quotidian encounters in friendship, sex, society, art, politics, response to violence, and religious observance, which struggle for moral ground in this post-Holocaust era.

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Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 18621962, The

The Alliance Israélite Universelle—an international organization representing a community of over 240,000 Jews—was founded in France in 1860. Its goal was to achieve the intellectual regeneration and social and political elevation of the Jewish people. This book examines the impact of the AIU on Moroccan Jewry. It answers such questions as: How did the AIU establish itself in Morocco’s communities? How did it go on to become a power not to be underestimated by either the Moroccan government or the Europeans? And more importantly, how did the AIU improve the conditions of the Jews in Morocco, creating an important Frenchspeaking urban elite? Also discussed are such topics as Zionism and JewishMuslim relations in Morocco.

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American Talmud

The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction

Looks at the role of Jewish American fiction in the larger context of American culture. 'In American Talmud, Ezra Cappell redefines the genre of Jewish American fiction and places it squarely within the larger context of American literature. Cappell departs from the conventional approach of defining Jewish American authors solely in terms of their ethnic origins and sociological constructs, and instead contextualizes their fiction within the theological heritage of Jewish culture. By deliberately emphasizing historical and ethnographic links to religions, religious texts, and traditions, Cappell demonstrates that twentieth-century and contemporary Jewish American fiction writers have been codifying a new Talmud, an American Talmud, and argues that the literary production of Jews in America might be seen as one more stage of rabbinic commentary on the scriptural inheritance of the Jewish people.

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Apocalyptic Messianism and Contemporary JewishAmerican Poetry

Focusing on the rich context of esoteric Jerish literature, this collection presents indepth analyses of JewishAmerican poetry. Gitenstein defines Jewish messianism and the literary genre of the apocalyptic, describes historical movements and kabbalistic theories, and analyzes their influence as part of the postHolocaust consciousness. Represented are works by such poets as Irving Feldman, Jack Hirschman, John Hollander, David Meltzer, and Jerome Rothenberg.

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Bearing the Unbearable

Yiddish and Polish Poetry in the Ghettos and Concentration Camps

This book is a pioneering study of Yiddish and Polish-Jewish concentration camp and ghetto poetry. It reveals the impact of the immediacy of experience as a formative influence on perception, response, and literary imagination, arguing that literature that is contemporaneous with unfolding events offers perceptions different from those presented after the fact.

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Belonging Too Well

Portraits of Identity in Cynthia Ozick's Fiction

Shows how Ozick's characters attempt to mediate a complex Jewish identity, one that bridges the differences between traditional Judaism and secular American culture. 'Shows how Ozick’s characters attempt to mediate a complex Jewish identity, one that bridges the differences between traditional Judaism and secular American culture. In Belonging Too Well, Miriam Sivan draws on contemporary literary theory as well as traditional Jewish texts and culture to explore the question of identity in Cynthia Ozick’s fiction. Many critics have pointed to a split in Ozick’s work between Judaic and secular culture and values. Sivan suggests, however, that Ozick never settles for a simple either/or dichotomy between traditional Judaism and secular American culture, but that her protagonists instead fashion new means of living genuinely Jewish lives within the American Diaspora. Often they struggle not with not belonging to either the Old or the New Worlds, but of belonging too well to both. Part of a recent trend toward analyzing Jewish American literature in the context of a deep encounter with and understanding of Judaism and traditional Jewish texts, Sivan’s study enables readers of Ozick’s fiction to penetrate the complex webs she creates among cultures, time periods, and characters, some quite sober, others fantastic, all unusual. Miriam Sivan teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa in Israel.

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Between Exile and Return

S. Y. Agnon and the Drama of Writing

This innovative study of the modern Hebrew writer, S. Y. Agnon, offers new insight into his literary transformations of Jewish themes and sources. With particular attention to Kafka, Hoffman situates Agnon in the context of twentieth-century literature and examines such central issues in Agnon’s art as the relationship of the literary text to traditions of sacred writings, the place of the book in culture, and the relationship of writing to the body.

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Beyond Marginality

AngloJewish Literature After the Holocaust

In a unique study of AngloJewish writers in the postwar period, Dr. Sicher traces through their works the story of the rise of the Jewish community from slum poverty to suburban affluence. This period is one of crucial social change in Britain. At the same time, Dr. Sicher raises serious questions about the modern writer’s cultural and ethnic identity. In this process, Dr. Sicher advances the thesis that, under the impetus of the Holocaust, the more traditional conflict between Jewish roots and assimilation has been succeeded by a reassessment of identity and morality. Dr. Sicher’s perspective on this particular period of literature is a highly original one and it should provoke creative reconsideration of other contexts and times as well.

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Biblical Parables and Their Modern Re-creations

From "Apples of Gold in Silver Settings" to "Imperial Messages"

Offers a penetrating cross-cultural analysis of the enduring genre of parables, revealing a dramatic social, cultural, and political shift in the way we view the divine. 'Representing a wide array of disciplines: economics, history, literature, political science, anthropology, and sociology, this book offers original examinations of the state of scholarship about Israel, as well as insightful assessments of contemporary Israeli society, politics, economy, and culture. The contributors review and analyze more than sixty recent publications, half of them in Hebrew or Arabic, showcasing important literature not readily accessible to European and North American readers. Continuing the tradition established by the preceding volumes, Review Essays in Israel Studies offers a rich and varied treatment of new scholarship and enhances our understanding of Israel studies today. In Biblical Parables and Their Modern Re-creations, Gila Safran Naveh carefully charts the historical transformation of these deceptively simple narratives to reveal fundamental shifts in their form, function, and most significantly, their readers’ cognitive processes. Bringing together for the first time parables from the Scriptures, the synoptic Gospels, Chassidic tales, and medieval philosophy with the mashal, the rabbinic parables commonly used to interpret Scripture, this book brilliantly contrasts the rhetorical strategies of ancient parables with more recent examples of the genre by Kafka, Borges, Calvino, and Agnon. By using an interdisciplinary approach and insights from current semiotic, linguistic, psychoanalytic, and gender theories, Naveh reveals a dramatic social, cultural, and political shift in the way we view the divine.

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Brush with Death, A

An Artist in the Death Camps

Recounts the author’s experiences during the Holocaust, from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland to the liberation of the Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Red Army in 1945. In this memoir Morris Wyszogrod recounts his experiences from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland to the liberation of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945. He describes in detail the time he spent in the Warsaw Ghetto; his work as an artist for various Luftwaffe personnel at the Warsaw military airport; his experiences at the BudzynŒ concentration camp, where he was assigned to decorate the living quarters of the SS and to produce drawings at an orgiastic Oktoberfest; his removal to PÂaszoŒw, where he was put to work digging up mass graves and burning the bodies to eliminate the evidence of Nazi war crimes; his witnessing of the firebombing of Dresden in February 1945; and his subsequent liberation at Theresienstadt by the Red Army in May 1945. Just as an artist may register what she or he sees against a sensitive visual and moral template, so Wyszogrod doubly registered what he saw and felt, both in his drawings and in his memories.

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