In the first three decades of the twentieth century, peripatetic Eastern European Jewish writers began writing secular stories and novels in Hebrew. Pinsker (Hebrew literature and culture, University of Michigan) explores this phenomenon through the lives and work of these mostly male writers. The book is in three sections: exile, sex and religion. These elements are all essential to the work but also provide the internal conflict in the authors. Most secular Jewish authors wrote in the vernacular. Hebrew as a conscious choice added a dimension of exclusiveness and solidarity. Pinsker describes the tensions between the Modernist movement and Hebraic traditions. The opening section, on the cities to which the writers migrated, emphasizes the variety of experiences and how they were interpreted in the fiction. The next part deals with masculine identity, both hetero and homo social, within the context of the two cultures. The chapter on the New Jewish Woman reflects the confusion of all modernist males. The final section tells of the ways in which the search for a meaningful relationship with God combined with reactions to the modern world infused many of the novels. Pinsker gives many examples from the works studied, presenting an alternate view of the modernist movement and a portrait of a generation. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
- 2011 the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.
- Book Quality:
- Stanford University Press
- Date of Addition:
- Language Arts, Literature and Fiction,
- Usage Restrictions:
- This is a copyrighted book.
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