Sal­vage Poet­ics: Post-Holo­caust Amer­i­can Jew­ish Folk Ethnographies

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

Sal­vage Poet­ics: Post-Holo­caust Amer­i­can Jew­ish Folk Ethno­gra­phies explores the lit­er­ary sources and visu­al images Amer­i­can Jews in the post-Holo­caust peri­od have used to for­mu­late an under­stand­ing of pre-Holo­caust East Euro­pean Jew­ish life. Sal­vage Poet­ics traces an arc from the lit­er­ary to the visu­al in pop­u­lar Amer­i­can Jew­ish appre­hen­sions of the Jew­ish world destroyed in East­ern Europe. The book begins with an explo­ration of the pop­u­lar ethno­gra­phies, Life is With Peo­ple (1952) and The World of Sholem Ale­ichem (1943), and moves on to a dis­cus­sion of antholo­gies pro­duced by Irv­ing Howe and Eliez­er Green­berg (A Trea­sury of Yid­dish Sto­ries [1953]), Lucy Daw­id­ow­icz (The Gold­en Tra­di­tion [1967]), and Luc­jan Dobroszy­c­ki and Bar­bara Kir­shen­blatt Gim­blett (Image Before My Eyes [1977]). Abra­ham Joshua Hes­chel’s eulo­gy to East Euro­pean Jew­ry, The Earth is the Lord’s (1949) is pre­sent­ed as a unique hybrid of lit­er­ary and visu­al mate­ri­als, lead­ing to a dis­cus­sion of the pre-Holo­caust pho­to­graph­ic ouevres of Roman Vish­ni­ac (1930s) and Alter Kacyzne (1920s) and the paint­ings of Ben Shahn (1950s) and Meir Kir­shen­blatt (1990s).

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