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Music from a Speeding TrainJewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia$
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Harriet Murav

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774437

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774437.001.0001

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The Stillbirth of Revolution

The Stillbirth of Revolution

(p.21) One The Stillbirth of Revolution
Music from a Speeding Train
Stanford University Press

The Russian Revolution of 1917 smashed all the boundaries dividing class, gender, nationality, language, the sacred from the profane, and art from life. It is no wonder that this momentous event in history was celebrated by Jewish and non-Jewish authors alike in the new Soviet Union. The 1920s witnessed the emergence of new movements in literature, the visual arts, film, and criticism in which Jews occupied prominent roles. This chapter explores the trauma of the civil war years by focusing on Russian-Jewish and Soviet Yiddish literature that celebrates the revolution, focusing on the works of such authors as Perets Markish, Isaac Babel, Semen Gekht, David Bergelson, Leyb Kvitko, and Osip Mandelshtam. It offers a reading of two poems published in 1929: Markish's Brider (Brothers) and Kvitko's “In roytn shturem” (In a red storm).

Keywords:   Russian Revolution, civil war, Yiddish literature, poems, Jews, Leyb Kitko, Perets Markish, Osip Mandelshtam, Isaac Babel, David Bergelson

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