Posted on 29/06 by bruceholl

Jewish Motifs in Babel
from Alice Nakhimovsky and Efraim Sicher
ML&L 3342 Dr. Bruce Holl

• Jewish tough guys in the Yiddish literary tradition
• Jews as the "Messiah" of new Russian literature
• Jews using brains and brawn
• Jews as victims of violence and anti-Semitism
• Rare literary portrayal of pogroms
• The emptiness of Soviet rhetoric about the Jews
• Neurotic Jewish intellectuals
• Departure from stock portrayals of Jews in Russian literature
• Jewish compassion and wisdom
• Jews trying to unite Jewish tradition and new Soviet ways
• Jews trying to join the Soviet project
• The Jewish way of life dying out
• The sun setting on Russian Jewry
• Contrast of Jews in the shtetl and Odessa
• Contrast of Hasidic and assimilated Jews
• Jews fighting back
• The use of Yiddishisms and Yiddish puns
• The accurate use of the speech, aphorisms, humor of the shtetl
• The use of parables and folk literature

Nakhimovsky, Alice. Russian-Jewish Literature and Indentity: Jabotinsky, Babel, Grossman, Galich, Roziner, Markish. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

Sicher, Efraim. Jews in Russian Literature After the October Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.