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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Yiddish Life, Literature, and Memory (3 cr)
Dov-Ber Kerler
GER-E 351 #33346 / CMLT-C377 #333145 /
MW 4:00-6:15 (BH 236)
2nd 8 weeks

Meets with GER-Y 505

The rise of modern Yiddish literature was one of the major achievements of modern Jewish culture and ethnic, national and transnational creativity among millions of Yiddish-speakers who had to face, collectively as well as individually, the challenges of modernity in the late 19th -- early 20th century Eastern Europe. This course will focus on some of the major works of the so-called Yiddish classic authors (1862-1917), their contemporaries, mostly the younger ones who began to publish shortly before or right after the Second World War in Europe and North America. A short novel, a selection of short stories, a novel-length narrative in the form of a first-person monologue, an important play and a number of films will form the main corpus of works that will be read, watched and later discussed and analyzed in class. In addition, a few examples of living memory of prewar Yiddish lifeways and cultural vitality, which was in many places almost entirely annihilated by the Nazi Germans and later on strongly, often tenaciously suppressed by the Soviet authorities.