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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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(p.335) Conclusion
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle
Stanford University Press

Meir Wiener's conversion to communism was disturbing to prominent Yiddish critics and scholars such as Dov Sadan, Elias Shulman, and Max Weinreich. They found it hard to comprehend how Wiener could embrace an ideology they considered to be totalitarian and hostile to Jews, and move to the Soviet Union—a foreign country in which he had no roots and to which he felt no particular attachment. More paradoxically, Wiener was able to establish a successful career in the Soviet Union as a scholar and writer. Although his emigration to the Soviet Union affected his thinking and expression in many ways, the essence of his personality remained unchanged. In fact, Wiener successfully brought that discourse to the Soviet Union and adapted it to the intellectual agenda of Soviet Marxism. His understanding of the development of Yiddish literature from the Haskalah to socialist realism influenced his understanding of Marxism. Through Marxism, a theoretical possibility arose for Wiener to separate Jewish culture from modern politics, particularly from its focus on nationalism.

Keywords:   Meir Wiener, communism, Marxism, Soviet Union, Jews, socialist realism, Jewish culture, Yiddish literature, politics, Haskalah

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