In an essay in the current issue of JQR, Magdaléna Jánošíková and Iris Idelson-Shein explore new territory in the landscape of early modern Yiddish writing.
JQR 111.1 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
Katz Center Fellow Ayelet Brinn on the American Yiddish Press and the Historical Roles and Contexts of the Media
Steven P. Weitzman (SPW): Ayelet, can you tell us a bit about the project you are working on at the Katz Center?
“Any minute now the world streams over its border” (Ot-ot gist zikh shoyn iber di velt bizn rand). So writes Soviet Yiddish poet Peretz Markish, a single resonant line among the hundreds in his eighty-page poem The Man of Forty (Der fertsikyeriker man), which his wife smuggled out of Stalinist Russia in a potato sack in 1949. Had she not done so it would surely have been seized by Stalin’s agents, who were moments from arresting the dissident poet when she departed.
Disaster not only alters the horizon of meaning for those who experience it but also leaves indelible traces on the lexicon. How can old words navigate the new and radically discordant? Language struggles to keep up. Words and expressions are coined or reused and the new collective argot in turn allows previously unimaginable things to become assimilable.
Update: this issue is free online without a subscription through June 30, 2020.
JQR 110.1 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
Daniel Reifman uses semiotic theory to account for the fact that legal rationales play a relatively peripheral role in the construction of rabbinic legal discourse.
The news that the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research responded to a budget crisis this month by laying off its entire library staff came as a shock to the Jewish studies academic community, which responded with an outpouring of concern.