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From Kabbalah to Class StruggleExpressionism, Marxism, and Yiddish Literature in the Life and Work of Meir Wiener$
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Mikhail Krutikov

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770071

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770071.001.0001

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Introduction: Why Meir Wiener?

Introduction: Why Meir Wiener?

(p.1) Introduction: Why Meir Wiener?
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle
Stanford University Press

This book explores the intellectual and artistic creativity of Meir Wiener in the context of cultural movements and phenomena in interwar Central and Eastern Europe, including Soviet Marxism, German expressionism, Kabbalah, and Haskalah. It analyzes Wiener's achievements by focusing on the experiences of millions of Jews in Eastern and Central Europe with the pressing issues of their day, such as anti-Semitism and the intensifying political and military situation in the region. The book examines Wiener's changing attitude to expressionism and Jewish writing in German, his political and scholarly ideas during the early 1920s, his early Yiddish writing, his time in the Soviet Union and his adjustment to Soviet conditions in Kiev, and his historical and critical studies on Yiddish literature, as well as the evolution of his ideas during the 1930s. It also looks at Wiener's historical fiction and his ideas on Jewish history, along with his memoirs and the unfinished magnum opus, set in the early 1920s in Berlin.

Keywords:   Meir Wiener, Central Europe, Jews, expressionism, Soviet Union, Yiddish literature, historical fiction, Jewish history, Marxism, Kabbalah

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