Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 28

BookPolin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 28

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 28

Jewish Writing in Poland

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 28


December 10th, 2015

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Since the Enlightenment, the cultural creativity of Polish Jews has found expression not only in Hebrew and Yiddish, but increasingly in Polish. There has been mutual and dynamic interaction between the cultural systems, but, until the end of communism, the trilingual Jewish culture of Poland was little studied. In this volume, scholars from Poland, the United States, Israel, Italy, and Argentina investigate writers from across this spectrum and consider how they saw their Jewish (and sometimes Polish) identity, and what they thought of the authors in the other linguistic or cultural camps. Together, their essays constitute the first examination of Jewish literatures in Poland from the point of view of both linguistic and geographical diversity. The interwar years serve as the reference point, but material on the period before World War I and after 1945 is also included. The book comprises six sections. There is new research on Jewish literature in Polish, including discussions of less widely known works by Janusz Korczak and Julian Stryjkowski. Polish-Yiddish-Hebrew literary contacts are then reviewed, with important pieces on Y.L. Peretz's early work, the translation of Hayim Nahman Bialik's poetry into Polish, the influence of Polish writers on Sholem Asch's early plays, and the reception of Yosef Opatoshu's novels in interwar Poland. The next section explores the images of Poles and Poland in the work of Jewish writers and of Jews in the work of Polish authors, for instance in the work of the Hebrew Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon and the Polish writer Stanislaw Vincenz. The subsequent section looks at avant-garde art and modern ideologies, with discussions of Bruno Schulz's graphic works and why communism appealed to some Jewish writers. Discussion then moves to questions of identity, with a special focus on Julian Tuwim, one of the greatest Polish poets, an assimilated Jew attacked by Polish nationalists on the one hand and Yiddishists on the other. The last group of essays in the collection looks at different 'exiles, ' understood both literally and metaphorically and encompassing works created in Poland, Israel, and Argentina. In spite of this wide range of themes, the coverage of the topic is not exhaustive: there are still very few studies of Polish-Hebrew literary contacts, and although more has been written about Yiddish writers in Poland there are still areas requiring a comparative perspective. This is a major study of topics which have rarely been discussed in English, especially Jewish literature written in Polish. The articles should appeal to all students of literature, and particularly to those interested in Polish, Yiddish, and Hebrew creativity understood as a rich cultural polysystem. CONTRIBUTORS Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska, Maria Antosik-Piela, Dorota Burda-Fischer, Nathan Cohen, Ofer Dynes, Karolina Famulska-Ciesielska, Ellen Kellman, Zuzanna Kołodziejska, Ber Kotlerman, Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska, Aviv Livnat, Piotr Matywiecki, Alina Molisak, Joanna Nalewejko-Kulikov, Władysław Panas, Ireneusz Piekarski, Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Laura Quercioli Mincer, Gil Rabak, Shoshana Ronen, Maxim D. Shrayer, Dariusz Konrad Sikorksi, Perla Sneh, Monika Szabłowska-Zaremba, Bella Szwarcman-Czarnota, Karolina Szymaniak, Miriam Udel, Karen Underhill, Bożena Wojnowska, Marzena Zawanowska, Sławomir Jacek Żurek.

Author Information

Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska is Professor of Comparative Literature at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. From 2000 to 2011 she was the head of the Centre for Jewish Studies. She is the author of Polska Isaaca Bashevisa Singera: Rozstanie i powrót (1994); Odcienie tożsamości: Literatura żydowska jako zjawisko wielojęzyczne (2004); and Kazimierz vel Kuzmir: Miasteczko różnych snów (2006). She is the co-editor, with Antony Polonsky, of Contemporary Jewish Writing in Poland: An Anthology (2001); and the co-editor of Tam był kiedyś mój dom…: Księgi pamięci gmin żydowskich (2009) and Jewish Presence in Absence: The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland, 1944 2010 (2014). In 2004 she received the Jan Karski and Pola Nireńska Award for research in the field of Yiddish. Sławomir Jacek Żurek is a professor and head of the Centre for the Study of Polish Jewish Literature at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. He is the author of numerous academic articles and books, including ‘…lotny trud półistnienia’: O motywach judaistycznych w poezji Arnolda Słuckiego (1999); Synowie księżyca: Zapisy poetyckie Aleksandra Wata i Henryka Grynberga w świetle tradycji i teologii żydowskiej (2004); Z pogranicza: Szkice o literaturze polsko-żydowskiej (2008), translated into English as From the Borderland: Essays on Polish-Jewish Literature (2008); Zastygłe w polszczyźnie: Szkice o świętach w poezji polsko-żydowskiej dwudziestolecia międzywojennego (2011); and, with Karolina Famulska-Ciesielska, Literatura polska w Izraelu: Leksykon (2012). He is a member of the Polish Society for Jewish Studies, the Council of the Polish Episcopate’s Committee for Dialogue with Judaism, and the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, and has held a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Antony Polonsky is Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies, Brandeis University, and Chief Historian of the Global Education Outreach Program at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. His three-volume history the Jews in Poland and Russia (2010–12), also published by the Littman Library, was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum Prize of the Polish Senate for the best book on the history of Poland in a language other than Polish. Eugenia Prokop-Janiec is a professor in the Department of Literary Anthropology and Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She specializes in the history of modern literature and literary criticism, literary ethnology, Polish Jewish literature, and Polish-Jewish cultural and literary contacts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author of Polish-Jewish Literature in the Interwar Years (2003), the English version of Międzywojenna literatura polsko-żydowska jako zjawisko kulturowe i artystyczne (1992), and of Pogranicze polsko-żydowskie: Topografie i teksty (2013). She is the editor of the anthology Międzywojenna poezja polsko-żydowska (1996), the co-editor of Teatr żydowski w Krakowie: Studia i materiały (1995), and a contributor to scholarly journals and collective volumes in Poland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Romania, the United States, and Israel.

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