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How Strange the ChangeLanguage, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernisms$
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Marc Caplan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804774765

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804774765.001.0001

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Mendele's Benjamin the Third and Kourouma's Suns of Independence

Mendele's Benjamin the Third and Kourouma's Suns of Independence

(p.210) Six Mendele's Benjamin the Third and Kourouma's Suns of Independence
How Strange the Change
Stanford University Press

Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh's (Mendele Moykher-Sforim) Masoes Benyomin hashlishi (Benjamin the Third) is analogous to his other novel, Di Klyatshe. In addition, Abramovitsh's role differs diametrically in the two novels. He is master ironist, voice of reason, and protagonist's tormentor in Di Klyatshe, a role taken over, consecutively, by the mare and Ashmedai. In Masoes Benyomin hashlishi, by contrast, it is Abramovitsh who takes over the task of narration from Benyomin. In the two novels, Abramovitsh's presence reflects his restlessness with respect to novelistic form as well as the unsettled relationship of Yiddish literature to narrative conventions. Satire plays a role in Abramovitsh's writing; indeed, Di Klyatshe and Masoes Benyomin hashlishi are complementary political satires. Ahmadou Kourouma's novel Les Soleils des indépendances (Suns of Independence) focuses on the plight of women suffering from neocolonial poverty and traditional oppression. It might be seen as a step towards expanding the representation of women in African literature.

Keywords:   Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, Masoes Benyomin hashlishi, Di Klyatshe, Ahmadou Kourouma, Les Soleils des indépendances, Yiddish literature, African literature, women, satire

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