Topics in Modern Hebrew Literature
From Shtetl to Kibbutz
Office: 305 Bartlett Hall
The Jewish world underwent a profound social and cultural rupture in the late 19th and early 20th century, with the break-down of Orthodox small-town ('shtetl') Jewish life in Eastern Europe, mass movement to the cities and to the New World, and the creation of a secular Zionist society in the Holy Land. The Hebrew poetry and fiction of those times was a mirror and stimulus to these cataclysmic events. You will study a sample of the major writers and their ideologies: The social satire of the shtetl by the bilingual Yiddish-Hebrew triumvirate of Mendele, Peretz and Shalom Aleikhem (the source of Fiddler on the Roof), the repressed spirituality of Bialik, the fierce pagan outpourings of Tshernikhovski and Berdichevski, Devorah Baron's explorations of the role of the new Jewish woman, Brenner's autobiographical novels of paternal repression and sexual disfunction, the pioneering poetry of Shlonsky, the lyrical hymns to the Holy Land of the poetess Rachel, Nobel Laureate Agnon's quest to synthesize the Hasidic past and the Zionist present -- and the Hebraic evaluation of American freedoms and oppression of native American culture in the poetry of SIlkiner and Lisitzky. No Hebrew required.
There will be a midterm (30%), a final examination (30%), and two thematic projects (40%) for which you will do library research, write up your findings and describe them briefly in class.
The following books are required and can be purchased at the bookstore:
The following have been placed on 24-hour reserve in Baker Library:
- Abramson, Glenda. The Oxford Book of Modern Hebrew Short Stories, Oxford.
- Burnshaw, Stanley et al. The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself. Harvard U Press, 1989.
- Aberbach, David. Bialik. Grove Press: New York, 1988.
- Aberbach,David . At the Handles of the Lock. OUP 1984.
- Agnon, S.Y A simple story. Schocken 1985
- ____ A guest for the night. Gollancz 1968
- ____ Twenty-one stories. Gollancz 1970.
- ____ A Book the was Lost and Other Stories. A Mintz & A G Golomb (eds), Schocken 1995.
- Alter, R Modern Hebrew Literature. Behrman House, 1975.
- ____ The Invention of Modern Hebrew Prose. U of Washington Press, 1988.
- ____ Hebrew and Modernity. Indiana U P, 1994.
- Aronson, Curtis. 'Toil and despair: Poetry of the Third Aliyah', Ariel 38, 1975, 105-110.
- Band, Arnold. Nostalgia and nightmare. U of California Press 1968.
- Blocker, Joel . Israeli writers. Schocken 1962.
- Elliott, Anderson (ed). Contemporary Israeli Literature. Jewish
- Publication Society. 1977
- Halkin, Shimon. Modern Hebrew Literature. Schocken 1970.
- Kahn, Sholom. 'The poetry of Rachel', Ariel 38, 1975, 5-30.
- Mintz, . Banished from their Father's Table Indiana U Press, 1991.
- Miron, Dan 'Between silence and screaming', Modern Hebrew
- Literature 4, 1990, 31-36
- _____ & K Frieden (eds). Tales of Mendele the Book Peddler. Schocken 1996.
- Shaked, Gershon . 'Between Jewish tradition and Western culture', Ariel 42, 1976, 46-54.
- ____ S.Y.Agnon: A revolutionary traditionalist. NYU Press 1989.
- ____ 'Not merely a tray of silver', Modern Hebrew Literature 14, 1990, 18-22
- Spicehandler, Ezra . Modern Hebrew stories. Bantam. 1971.
- Wisse, Ruth. The I L Peretz Reader. Schocken, 1990.
Topic: The emergence of Modern Hebrew literature
Weeks 2 and 3:
Topic: Satire of the Shtetl: Mendele, Peretz, Shalom Aleikem
Topic: Bialik's odyssey - from Odessa to Tel Aviv
Week 5 :
Topic: Hebraism, Nietzsche and the "Angry Young Men
Topic: "Banished from their father's table": Autobiography of an inner torment
Topic: Poetry of the Zionist pioneers
Topic: The New Jewish woman
Topic: Agnon -- between heritage and rupture.
Topic: The other Hebraism: The Hebrew poets of America
* If you have any questions about this course, you can reach Prof. Glinert at Lewis.H.Glinert@Dartmouth.EDU.
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