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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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Realism and the Yiddish Literary Canon

Realism and the Yiddish Literary Canon

(p.205) Six Realism and the Yiddish Literary Canon
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Meir Wiener's Marxist history of Yiddish literature from the Haskalah to socialist realism. Wiener considered literature to be an arena of class struggle for conflicting ideologies that reflect the socio-economic interests of antagonistic classes. Unlike many leading critics and scholars outside the Soviet Union, such as Shmuel Niger and Max Weinreich, who extolled the harmony, unity, and continuity of Yiddish literature, he emphasized the literary representations of socio-economic tensions, conflicts, and discontinuities among the Jews in East Europe during the transition from feudalism to capitalism. The chapter looks at Wiener's view of the ideological evolution of Yiddish literary history in the context of Soviet Marxism of the 1930s, and, in particular, places Wiener vis-à-vis leading theoreticians such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Georg Lukács.

Keywords:   Meir Wiener, Yiddish literature, socialist realism, Marxism, Mikhail Bakhtin, Georg Lukács, literary history, Soviet Union, class struggle, Jews

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