On the Margins of Modernism (Paperback)

Decentering Literary Dynamics (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society #2)

By Chana Kronfeld

University of California Press, 9780520083479, 275pp.

Publication Date: November 22, 1996

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Modernism valorizes the marginal, the exile, the "other"—yet we tend to use writing from the most commonly read European languages (English, French, German) as examples of this marginality. Chana Kronfeld counters these dominant models of marginality by looking instead at modernist poetry written in two decentered languages, Hebrew and Yiddish. What results is a bold new model of literary dynamics, one less tied to canonical norms, less limited geographically, and less in danger of universalizing the experience of minority writers.

Kronfeld examines the interpenetrations of modernist groupings through examples of Hebrew and Yiddish poetry in Europe, the U.S., and Israel. Her discussions of Amichai, Fogel, Raab, Halpern, Markish, Hofshteyn, and Sutskever will be welcomed by students of modernism in general and Hebrew and Yiddish literatures in particular.

About the Author

Chana Kronfeld is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the coeditor of David Fogel: The Emergence of Hebrew Modernism (1993).