Women, Men and Books
Issues of Gender in Yiddish Discourse

Edited by Gennady Estraikh and Mikhail Krutikov

Studies In Yiddish 16

Legenda

30 December 2019  •  206pp

ISBN: 978-1-781885-77-2 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95

ISBN: 978-1-781885-78-9 (paperback, 20 August 2022)  •  RRP £10.99, $14.99, €13.49

ISBN: 978-1-781885-79-6 (JSTOR ebook)

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Yiddish literature is commonly perceived as a gendered cultural space, as neatly summarised by the line 'Story books for women, holy books for men' in the opening scene of the popular movie Yentl. Yet it is well known that the traditional dichotomy oversimplifies the issue of gender in Yiddish literature. This volume seeks to give a more multi-faceted picture of the topic, investigating the representation of gender in Yiddish literary works, the gendered self-representation of Yiddish authors, and the (implied) expectations with respect to the gender of the Yiddish target readership. It also considers debates and reflections about gender in Yiddish literary criticism and journalism, exploring the participation and positioning of Yiddish cultural critics in this discourse.

Reviews:

  • ‘The book presents the most recent research on the subject of gender in Yiddish literature and culture and paints a far more complex picture of gender roles in Eastern European Jewish life than is portrayed in traditional sources... As gender and sexuality are increasingly being understood as fluid, rather than determined categories, this kind of research is extremely significant for those of us who still speak, write and create in Yiddish, and want to hold on to it as a living language, capable of expressing all of our experiences.’ — Annabel Cohen, Forward 23 November 2020

Contents:

ix-x

List of Contributors
Gennady Estraikh, Mikhail Krutikov
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.3

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1-6

Introduction: Women, Men, and Books: Issues of Gender in Yiddish Discourse
Mikhail Krutikov
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.4

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7-18

Chapter 1 the Old Yiddish Ŝeder Nošim and the Querelle Des Femmes
Arnaud Bikard
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.5

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19-35

Chapter 2 the Marxist Theory of Primeval Matriarchy in Yiddish Intellectual Discourse: Gender Between Anti-Religious Radicalism, Orthodox Judaism, and A New Metaphysics of Yidishkayt
Roland Gruschka
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.6

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36-64

Chapter 3 ‘Mother, in the Chain of Generations, I Am the Broken Link Between You and My Child’: the Experience of Being A Mother and A Daughter in Yiddish Poetry By Women
Joanna Lisek
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.7

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65-79

Chapter 4 Yidishe Dikhterins, Nice Jewish Girls: Creating Communities in Jewish Literary History
Zohar Weiman-Kelman
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.8

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80-92

Chapter 5 the Best-Selling Shomer and His Fear of Emancipated Women
Gennady Estraikh
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.9

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93-107

Chapter 6 Dreams of A Jewish Queen: A Literary Itinerary of National-Sexual Desires, From the Book of Esther To Aaron Zeitlin’s Esterke
Roni Masel
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.10

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108-122

Chapter 7 Between Talmud and Feminism: Bashevis Singer’s Playful Jugglery in His Bilingual Corpus
Valentina Fedchenko
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.11

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123-138

Chapter 8 the Forbidden Fruit: Gender and Desire in David Hofstein’s Early Poetry
Sabine Koller
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.12

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139-151

Chapter 9 ‘Ikh Hob Lib Shlangen’: Virility and Di Yunge
Eitan Kensky
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.13

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152-161

Chapter 10 Gendered War in Aharon Reuveni’s Yerusholayim in Shotn Fun Shverd
Yaakov Herskovitz
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.14

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162-172

Chapter 11 the Kmoy-Conquest of South America: Yankev Botoshansky and the Masculine Imaginary of Yiddish Literature
William Gertz Runyan
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.15

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173-190

Chapter 12 the ‘Bathroom Crisis’ in the Shtetl: Transgender Identity and Homoerotic Anxiety in Isaac Bashevis Singer
Alexandra Tali Herzog
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.16

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191-196

Index
Gennady Estraikh, Mikhail Krutikov
doi:10.2307/j.ctv16km1f5.17

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Bibliography entry:

Estraikh, Gennady, and Mikhail Krutikov (eds), Women, Men and Books: Issues of Gender in Yiddish Discourse, Studies In Yiddish, 16 (Legenda, 2019)

First footnote reference: 35 Women, Men and Books: Issues of Gender in Yiddish Discourse, ed. by Gennady Estraikh and Mikhail Krutikov, Studies In Yiddish, 16 (Legenda, 2019), p. 21.

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

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

Bibliography entry:

Estraikh, Gennady, and Mikhail Krutikov (eds). 2019. Women, Men and Books: Issues of Gender in Yiddish Discourse, Studies In Yiddish, 16 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Estraikh and Krutikov 2019: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Estraikh and Krutikov 2019: 21.

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


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