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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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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Soviet Literature and Theory

Soviet Literature and Theory

(p.251) Seven Soviet Literature and Theory
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle
Stanford University Press

Meir Wiener applied Marxism primarily as an analytical method in his historical studies of Yiddish literature and as an ideological worldview in his Soviet literary criticism. He sought to construct an idealized general concept of Soviet Yiddish literature in which conflicts and contradictions were nonexistent, and in which Marxist critical analysis was canceled by socialist realism as a “creative method,” giving rise to a utopian vision of reality. Wiener turned to theoretical criticism for the first time after 1932 at a time when Soviet literature was undergoing a radical transformation and socialist realism was getting institutionalized. This chapter focuses on his attempts to develop a comprehensive synthetic concept of modern Yiddish literature in the context of Marxist theory. It examines Wiener's response to the proletarian critics concerning Soviet literature and theory, his analysis of Perets Markish and David Bergelson, and his views about poetry and socialism as well as the Soviet Yiddish literary canon.

Keywords:   Meir Wiener, Marxism, Yiddish literature, literary criticism, Soviet literature, literary canon, socialist realism, Perets Markis, David Bergelson, poetry

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