Uncovering the Hidden
The Works and Life of Der Nister

Edited by Gennady Estraikh, Kerstin Hoge and Mikhail Krutikov

Studies In Yiddish 12

Legenda

23 April 2014  •  200pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-84-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ModernYiddishPoetryFiction


Der Nister (Pinkhes Kahanovitsh, 1884–1950) is widely regarded as the most enigmatic author in modern Yiddish literature. His pseudonym, which translates as ‘The Hidden One’, is as puzzling as his diverse body of works, which range from mystical symbolist poetry and dark expressionist tales to realist historical epic. Although part of the Kiev Group of Yiddish writers, which also included David Bergelson and Peretz Markish (who are the focus of the sixth and ninth volumes in Legenda’s Studies in Yiddish series), Der Nister remained at the margins of the Yiddish literary world throughout his life, mainstream success eluding him both in- and outside the Soviet Union. Yet, to judge from the quantity of recent research and translation work, der Nister is today one of the best remembered Yiddish modernists. The present collection of ten original articles by international scholars re-examines Der Nister’s cultural and literary legacy, bringing to light new aspects of his life and creative output.

Reviews:

  • ‘I’ve often hoped that a collection would come out that would help me grapple with this mysterious individual and his extraordinary yet often enigmatic writings, and so I was pleased to read this excellent new collection... All of the chapters in this book offer important new insights into Der Nister the man and the artist.’ — Leah Garrett, Slavic Review 74.2, Summer 2015, 423-24
  • ‘A very welcome addition to the scarce literature on Soviet Yiddish writer Pinkhas Kahanovitsh (1884–1950)... Fifteen years prior to his arrest, Der Nister wrote that 'history will judge us by our construction work: how our regime was built, on what kind of underlying moral foundations, and in what kind of political and cultural-customary forms it was shaped'. For an author who wished to remain 'hidden' on the sidelines of political life, the wide range of articles exhibited in this collection attest to how the author himself would have wanted his literary 'construction work' to be judged.’ — Naya Lekht, Slavic and East European Journal 59.2, Summer 2015, 325-27

Contents:

1-6
Introduction: Der Nister, Real and Imaginary
Gennady Estraikh, Mikhail Krutikov
Cite
7-26
Der Nister’s ‘Hamburg Score’
Gennady Estraikh
Cite
27-40
Der Nister’s Hebrew Nosegay
Jordan Finkin
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41-54
Andersens Mayselekh and Der Nister’s Symbolist Agenda
Kerstin Hoge
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55-72
A mayse mit a hon. Dos tsigele: Marc Chagall illustrating Der Nister
Sabine Koller
Cite
73-89
The ‘Political’ Writings of an ‘Unpolitical’ Yiddish Symbolist
Daniela Mantovan
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90-110
Watch the Throne: Allegory, Kingship and Trauerspiel in the Stories of Der Nister and Reb Nakhman
Marc Caplan
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111-144
‘Turning My Soul Inside Out’: Text and Context of The Family Mashber
Mikhail Krutikov
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145-160
Symbolist Quest and Grotesque Masks: The Family Mashber as Parable and Confession
Roland Gruschka
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161-173
‘The Feast Has Ended’: Time in The Family Mashber
Harriet Murav
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174-184
‘We are lacking “A Man Dieth in a Tent” ’: Der Nister’s Search for Redemption in the Summer of 1947
Ber Boris Kotlerman
Cite

Bibliography entry:

Estraikh, Gennady, Kerstin Hoge, and Mikhail Krutikov (eds), Uncovering the Hidden: The Works and Life of Der Nister, Studies In Yiddish, 12 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014)

First footnote reference: 35 Uncovering the Hidden: The Works and Life of Der Nister, ed. by Gennady Estraikh, Kerstin Hoge and Mikhail Krutikov, Studies In Yiddish, 12 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2014), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Estraikh, Hoge, and Krutikov, p. 47.

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

Bibliography entry:

Estraikh, Gennady, Kerstin Hoge, and Mikhail Krutikov (eds). 2014. Uncovering the Hidden: The Works and Life of Der Nister, Studies In Yiddish, 12 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Estraikh, Hoge, and Krutikov 2014: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Estraikh, Hoge, and Krutikov 2014: 21.

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


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