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From Continuity to ContiguityToward a New Jewish Literary Thinking$
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Dan Miron

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762007

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762007.001.0001

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The Inter-Bellum Decades: Hebrew

The Inter-Bellum Decades: Hebrew

(p.134) Five The Inter-Bellum Decades: Hebrew
From Continuity to Contiguity
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the war years and the shattered foundations of the Hebrew–Yiddish renaissance. Hebrew literature suffered more than its Yiddish counterpart because its readers were concentrated in places that were distant from its centers of production (the editorial offices of periodicals and newspapers, the main publishing houses, the printers' shops). Whereas most of the production work took place in Warsaw, the Hebrew reading public resided in Lithuania, Byelorussia, the northwestern Ukraine, Palestine, and the United States. After Warsaw was occupied by the Germans, who also quickly penetrated southern Ukraine, and eventually occupied Odessa as well, the connecting lines that had tied production to readers broke one after another. But the exposure of writers to devastating dislocations and horrendous scenes of battles, pogroms, and homelessness appeared to sharpen rather than dull the edge of both old and new literary debates; and as soon as an opportunity made it possible, these debates found vigorous expression, no matter how irregular and discontinuous.

Keywords:   Jewish literature, Hebrew literature, war years, literary debates, World War I

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