A Captive of the Dawn
The Life and Work of Peretz Markish (1895-1952)

Edited by Joseph Sherman, Gennady Estraikh, Jordan Finkin and David Shneer

Studies In Yiddish 9

Legenda

25 March 2011  •  250pp

ISBN: 978-1-906540-52-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ModernYiddishRussianPoetry


Peretz Markish (1895-1952), one of Eastern Europe’s most important Yiddish poets in the period between the two world wars, was a fiercely independent maverick who published work in all literary genres. Although emerging from the Kiev literary tradition, Markish always went his own way in a literary career spanning four decades and embracing almost all twentieth-century aesthetic movements. After the Revolution, he settled in Poland, but returned to be integrated more closely into Soviet culture than any other Yiddish writer of his generation, receiving the Order of Lenin. It did not save him from Stalin's show-trials of Jewish intellectuals, and he was executed in 1952, but as early as 1955 his writing was being rehabilitated in the Soviet press: a testament to his literary stature. His Yiddish works were widely translated into Russian and Ukrainian, establishing him as a major Russian writer of his times.

This new volume serves both as a companion to the life and works of Peretz Markish and as a source-book for future research. A biography and bibliography are combined with some twenty contributed essays by Peretz scholars, surveying the entire corpus of his work and all periods of his career.

Joseph Sherman was one of the world's foremost translators and critics of Yiddish literature, and a staunch supporter of Legenda's publishing work over many years. His sadly untimely death meant that this volume could not be issued in August 2009, as we had hoped. It will now be completed in his memory by his long-standing collaborator, Gennady Estraikh, who is Rauch Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies, New York University, and by Professor David Shneer of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Dr Jordan Finkin of St Cross College, Oxford.

Reviews:

  • ‘This volume is not only the best study of Markish’s career available in English — it is the only one. And yet, one could not hope for a better treatment of its worthy subject... Given Markish’s signiicance to the development of Yiddish literature in Poland as well as the Soviet Union, there is no doubt that any scholar of Yiddish will consult these essays frequently and gratefully.’ — Marc Caplan, Slavonic and East European Review 92.2, April 2014, 321-23 (full text online)

Contents:

1-15
An Introduction. My Name is Now: Peretz Markish and the Literature of Revolution
David Shneer
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16-32
Jewish Radicalism: Hebrew in Peretz Markish’s Early Poetry
Yael Chaver
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33-49
The Lighter Side of Babel: Peretz Markish’s Urban Poetics
Jordan Finkin
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50-65
‘A Shout from Somewhere’: The Early Work of Peretz Markish
Amelia Glaser
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66-87
The Language of Dispersion and Confusion: Peretz Markish’s Manifestos from the Khalyastre Period
Karolina Szymaniak
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88-102
Peretz Markish and Literarishe Bleter (1924–1926)
Aleksandra Geller
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103-113
Markish’s Radyo (1922): Yiddish Modernism as Agitprop
Seth L. Wolitz
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114-126
Peretz Markish in the 1930s: Socialist Construction and the Return of the Luftmentsh
Harriet Murav
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127-138
Markish’s play The Ovadis Family and Soviet Jewish Policies, 1936–1941
Ber Boris Kotlerman
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139-156
Rivers of Blood: Peretz Markish, the Holocaust, and Jewish Vengeance
David Shneer
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157-171
The Pen and the Sword: The Wartime Plays of Peretz Markish
Jeffrey Veidlinger
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172-185
Anti-Nazi Rebellion in Peretz Markish’s Drama and Prose
Gennady Estraikh
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186-206
Murdered Modernisms: Peretz Markish and the Legacy of Soviet Yiddish Poetry
Chana Kronfeld
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207-227
A Bibliography of Peretz Markish
Roberta Saltzman
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228-241
Appendix: A Yiddish Modernist Dirge: Di Kupe of Peretz Markish
Seth L. Wolitz
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Bibliography entry:

Sherman, Joseph, Gennady Estraikh, Jordan Finkin, and David Shneer (eds), A Captive of the Dawn: The Life and Work of Peretz Markish (1895-1952), Studies In Yiddish, 9 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011)

First footnote reference: 35 A Captive of the Dawn: The Life and Work of Peretz Markish (1895-1952), ed. by Joseph Sherman, Gennady Estraikh, Jordan Finkin and David Shneer, Studies In Yiddish, 9 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Sherman, Estraikh, Finkin, and Shneer, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Sherman, Joseph, Gennady Estraikh, Jordan Finkin, and David Shneer (eds). 2011. A Captive of the Dawn: The Life and Work of Peretz Markish (1895-1952), Studies In Yiddish, 9 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Sherman, Estraikh, Finkin, and Shneer 2011: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Sherman, Estraikh, Finkin, and Shneer 2011: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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