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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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On the Way to Yiddish and Emigration

On the Way to Yiddish and Emigration

(p.101) Three On the Way to Yiddish and Emigration
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle
Stanford University Press

Jewish culture underwent radical changes in the aftermath of the wars, revolutions, and other upheavals in Eastern and Central Europe from 1914 to 1921. Multinational empires collapsed and Yiddish cultural space disintegrated, to be replaced by a new constellation of cultural centers outside the traditional area of Jewish settlement in Austria, Germany, and Russia as a result of the mass migration of Jews out of the regions affected by the wars. A small number of Yiddish intellectuals, poets, and writers tried to develop Yiddish cultural life in Vienna. In 1921–1925 Meir Wiener befriended young Yiddish poets and writers in Berlin who belonged to the so-called Kiev group, which included Leyb Kvitko, Pinkhas Kahanovitsh, and Perets Markish. In the chaotic years following the end of World War I, many intellectuals actively searched for a new expressive language in Yiddish literature, especially in poetry. This chapter explores Wiener's early Yiddish writing in the context of the Yiddish literary scene in Vienna, Berlin, and Kiev after World War I.

Keywords:   Meir Wiener, Jewish culture, Jews, mass migration, Yiddish literature, Vienna, Berlin, Kiev, intellectuals, poetry

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