Three Cities of Yiddish: St. Petersburg, Warsaw and Moscow
By Professor Mikhail Krutikov
The idea of the collection of articles, Three Cities of Yiddish: St. Petersburg, Warsaw and Moscow (Oxford: Legenda, 2016), co-edited by Gennady Estraikh and Mikhail Krutikov, was inspired by Sholem Asch’s epic novel trilogy, Farn mabl (Before the Deluge, entitled in English Three Cities, 1927–32), which presented a panorama of Jewish life in the Russian Empire during the tumultuous period of the First World War and the Revolution. The eleven contributors explore different aspects of Yiddish-related activities in the three cities at different moments of the turbulent twentieth century. But unlike Asch’s novel, most of the chapters in this volume do not focus on one particular city but rather examine various forms of cultural contacts and interactions between spaces, genres, identities, cultures, and languages across geographical borders and political boundaries. They interpret Yiddish in a broad sense, reaching beyond the spheres of language and literature into the areas of theatre, music, and visual arts.
Lost in the Shadow of the Word
By Professor Benjamin Paloff
Scholars of modernism have long addressed how literature, painting, and music reflected the radical reconceptualization of space and time in the early twentieth century—a veritable revolution in both physics and philosophy that has been characterized as precipitating an “epistemic trauma” around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Benjamin Paloff contends that writers in Central and Eastern Europe felt this impact quite distinctly from their counterparts in Western Europe. For the latter, the destabilization of traditional notions of space and time inspired works that saw in it a new kind of freedom. However, for many Central and Eastern European authors, who were writing from within public discourses about how to construct new social realities, the need for escape met the realization that there was both nowhere to escape to and no stable delineation of what to escape from. In reading the prose and poetry of Czech, Polish, and Russian writers, Paloff imbues the term “Kafkaesque” with a complexity so far missing from our understanding of this moment in literary history. (Northwestern University Press, 2016)
Written in the Dark: Five Poets in the Siege of Leningrad
Gennady Gor, Dmitry Maksimov, Sergey Rudakov, Vladimir Sterligov, and Pavel Zaltsman; edited by Polina Barskova
Poetry translations by Slavic PhD student Jason Wagner were included in Written in the Dark: Five Poets in the Seige of Leningrad, an anthology of poems by Gennady Gor, Dmitry Maksimov, Sergey Rudakov, Vladimir Sterligov, and Pavel Zaltsman (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016, edited by Polina Barskova).