"I know who you are, but who I am—you do not know . . .": Reading Yiddish Writers in a Polish Literary Context
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 29, Number 3, Spring 2011
- pp. 83-104
- Additional Information
The article discusses Polish-Yiddish literary contacts by illustrating them with selected examples from four novels and one poem. It presents parallel readings of Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land, 1899) by Władysław Stanisław Reymont and Di brider Ashkenazi (The Brothers Ashkenazi, 1936) by Israel Joshua Singer, Isaac Bashevis Singer's The King of the Fields (Yiddish original Der kenig fun di felder, 1988) and Józef Ignacy Kraszewski's Stara baśń (Old Fairy Tale, 1876) as well as Avrum Sutzkever's poem "Tsu Poyln" ("To Poland," 1946), read in the context of Polish poetry of the Romantic period. Yiddish writers who were born in Poland and spent some part of their lives there were familiar with Polish literature, sometimes drew inspiration from Polish authors, and referred to their works in various ways, oftentimes polemical. The aim of this comparative article is to indicate the rich and still unexplored potential this field of research may offer.