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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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Yeder zeyger a yortsayt: The Past as Memory in Postwar Literature

Yeder zeyger a yortsayt: The Past as Memory in Postwar Literature

Chapter:
(p.209) Five Yeder zeyger a yortsayt: The Past as Memory in Postwar Literature
Source:
Music from a Speeding Train
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804774437.003.0007

This chapter explores how Jewish literature after World War II avoids the teleology of Soviet historical narrative, in which the past serves as a bridge to the bright future. Authors such as Semen Gekht, Rivke Rubin, and Dina Kalinovskaia view the past as memory that disrupts the continuity of daily life. In his 1963 collection of stories, Obligations of the Heart (Dolgi serdtsa), Gekht shows how the intergenerational conflicts created by the war erupt in the present. Other works such as Rubin's “Aza min tog” (A strange day), Kalinovskaia's “O, subbota” (Oh Saturday), and the short stories of the Yiddish writers Shmuel Gordon, Shire Gorshman, and Moshe Altman were written in the late 1970s and 1980s but focus on the time of the pre-revolutionary past, the civil war, and World War II.

Keywords:   Jewish literature, memory, past, World War II, short stories, Semen Gekht, Rivke Rubin, Dina Kalinovskaia, intergenerational conflicts, civil war

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