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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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Vertical and Horizontal Continuities and Discontinuities

Vertical and Horizontal Continuities and Discontinuities

(p.204) Seven Vertical and Horizontal Continuities and Discontinuities
From Continuity to Contiguity
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the Hebrew and Yiddish meta-literary thinking of literary scholars and historians between the end of World War I and the first years of Israeli independence. This meta-literary thinking organized itself along two axes, a vertical and a horizontal one. Those with a proclivity for thinking vertically were intrigued by the questions of whether and how the literature retained a unifying common denominator as it evolved throughout the epochs and eras predicated upon one or another paradigm of periodization. They were mostly Hebrew scholars who studied the development of Hebrew literature. Those whose thinking gravitated toward the horizontal axis, mostly non-Hebraic scholars, with Yiddishists at their head, tended to think in spatial terms and look for patterns of significant simultaneity in Jewish writing. The scholar who more than anybody attempted to conflate the two axes was Sadan, whose vast scholarly project was divided between the canonical new Hebrew and Yiddish literatures, and at the same time also between canonical literatures and their sub-canonical extensions, such as writing that belonged in the space between literature and folklore, historiography and linguistics.

Keywords:   Hebrew literature, Yiddish literature, meta-literary thinking, Jewish literature, Sadan

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