Twentieth-century Russian Jewish Literature and Culture: Text, Canvas, Screen
Full course for one semester. This course examines the problem of Jewish literature and the Jewish artist in the twentieth century through investigating the Russian Jewish literary, artistic and intellectual imagination since the early 1900s. While the Russian Jewish twentieth-century artists felt themselves to be completely in and of the Russian tradition, shaping and revising it, their understanding of this tradition and the role of the Russian writer was challenged and complicated both by their sense of their Jewishness, and the overall project of modern Jewish artistic self-fashioning. We shall examine how these artists creatively approached their Jewishness and conceived of their place in Russian (and Soviet) literature and culture. We shall ask whether the Russian Jewish texts can be seen as forming a separate tradition and scrutinize various methodologies of defining a literary text in a non-Jewish language as Jewish. We shall pay close attention to ideological, historic, cultural, linguistic, and aesthetic contexts of the discourses involved: Russian modernist, Hebrew and Yiddish modernist, Soviet, dissident, and post-Soviet. Readings from Jabotinsky, Knut, Dubnow, Mandelshtam, Bagritsky, Babel, Ehrenburg, Grossman, Gorenshtein, and Slutsky among others. Prerequisite: students who wish to take the course for Russian credit must have completed Russian 220 or obtain the consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Cross-listed as Literature 425.
Literature 425 Description
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