The first concise history of Russian-Jewish literary prose, this book discusses Russian-Jewish literarature in four periods, analyzing the turning points (1881–82, 1897, 1917) and proposing that the selected epoch (1860–1940) represents a special strand that was unfairly left out of both Russian and Jewish national literatures. Based on theoretical sources on the subject, the book establishes the criteria of dual cultural affiliation, and in a survey of Russian-Jewish literature presents the pitfalls of assimilation and discusses different forms of anti-Semitism. After showing the oeuvre of 18 representative authors as a whole, the book analyzes a number of characteristic novels and short stories in terms of contemporary literary studies. Many texts discussed have not been reprinted since their first publication. The material offers indispensable information not only for comparative and literary studies but for multicultural, historical, ethnographic, Judaist, religious and linguistic investigations as well.
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