Abstract

Abstract:

The Soviet Yiddish poet Dovid Hofshteyn (1889–1952) is one of the best-known Yiddish-language modernist writers. During the 1930s, however, Hofshteyn's primary literary genre was translation, particularly from Russian and Ukrainian—languages he knew well enough to have written poetry in himself. This article addresses Hofshteyn's translations of the Ukrainian Romantic poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861) into Yiddish. Hofshteyn's translations of Shevchenko appeared primarily in the 1930s, years of increased strictures on Soviet original poetry—especially the poetry of Soviet minorities. These translations, however, exemplify a creative appropriation of a neighboring culture in order to express contemporary concerns about Jewish culture. As this article shall demonstrate, translation from Ukrainian allowed Hofshteyn to express modern Jewish themes of alienation in terms acceptable to the increasingly Russo-centric world of Soviet internationalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3311
Print ISSN
0272-9601
Pages
pp. 83-110
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-10
Open Access
No
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