Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective

Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century poster

Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective
McHenry Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Spring 1996

This exhibit was dedicated to Elie Wiesel, one of the greatest Jewish writers of the twentieth century, who spoke in Santa Cruz on May 7, 1996. Its scope presented three challenges:

The first was geographic: how does one represent the diversity and abundance of creative writing by Jewish writers in the Diaspora? From Australia to New York, from Budapest to Johannesburg, from Tel Aviv to Buenos Aires, the writers whose works were included reflected the trajectories of Jewish migration, the paths of history itself.

The second challenge was time: how can one exhibit encompass the upheavals and transformations of the past one hundred years, the overwhelming complexity of twentieth-century Jewish experience? This century began with the pogroms of Eastern Europe and mass migrations to the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, then exploded in the genocide of the Shoah in which six million were murdered and millions were displaced. How does one traverse that terrible barrier between the Holocaust and those who lived before, those of us who live after? Perhaps Wiesel's work, which provides witness to the atrocities of those years and also insists on believing in life and hope is the best bridge we have.

To do justice to the complexities of both geography and history, this exhibit needed to pay tribute to the flowering of German-Jewish culture before the rise of Hitler which ended in wrenching dissolution of the German-Jewish symbiosis, the terrible betrayal of the Enlightenment and the promise of citizenship for Europe's Jews. And yet European Jews have survived and their contemporary works are included here as well. This century has also witnessed the founding of the state of Israel and the development of Hebrew as a living language with a living literature and that too must be included. These cases must honor the vitality of Yiddish literature, of Yiddishkayt and the efforts to preserve and revive Yiddish. We must explore the distinct history of Jews in Latin America--the secrets of life in countries dominated by Catholicism and the legacy of the Inquisition, countries which have also provided refuge for Nazis themselves. We include the Jewish communities of North Africa, the Middle East, India, and China. The exhibit reflects the ambiguities of assimilation in the United States, and the unique perspectives of Jewish lesbian and feminist writers. It must not overlook the rich writing of Canadian-Jewish poets and novelists and the differences in the cultural milieu for Jews in that country from that of its gigantic neighbor to the south. It travels to the Southern Hemisphere and the strong communities of Australia and South Africa.

The third and final challenge was one of definition: what is a Jewish writer? Is a Jewish writer anyone who is Jewish and writes? Does it matter how the writer defines themself, whether they want to be considered "a Jewish writer" or see that as limitation? For this purposes of exhibit was defined heritage who explores themes in their work. The emphasis is on creative writing, fiction, poetry and non- fiction.

Gathering these materials was a fascinating experience. Although I am first-generation American, the daughter of two Holocaust refugees, I began with only knowledge of American Jewish writers. Curating this exhibit took me on a journey through bibliographies and anthologies, through the Internet, and on endless trips through the stacks of this library, wheeling loaded book trucks into my overflowing office. I realized that my family, my Jewish family, represents the trajectories of twentieth-century Jewish migration and gained deeper insight into my own past. Surely an exhibit of this scope could fill a hundred cases instead of the ten available here. Hence this exhibit can only be an introduction, a sampling of the vast diversity of global Jewish literature created in the twentieth century. Enjoy! --Irene Reti This exhibit provides a sampling of the diversity of global Jewish literature.

 

Feel free to use this list of authors as a guide to begin exploring its richness.


Australia

Lily Brett

Moris Lurie

David Martin

Judah Waten

Rose Zwi

Fay Zwicky
 

Canada

Leonard Cohen

Phyllis Gotlieb

George Jonas

A.M. Klein

Rachel Korn

Irving Layton

Eli Mandel

Joe Rosenblatt

Miriam Waddington

Tom Wayman
 

Europe

Hannah Arendt

Liliane Atlan

Maria Banus

Walter Benjamin

Max Brod

Joseph Brodsky

Nina Cassian

Paul Celan

Lion Feuchtwanger

Milan Fust

Henryk Grynberg

Eugene Heimler

Arthur Koestler

Else Lasker-Schuler

Miklos Radnoti

Andre Spire

Julian Tuwim

Aleksander Wat

Jakob Wasserman

Stefan Zweig
 

India

Nissim Ezekiel
 

Israel

Shmuel Yosef Agnon

Aharon Appelfeld

T. Carmi

Zerubavel Gilead

Leah Goldberg

Shulamith Hareven

Amos Oz

Dalia Ravikovitch

Abraham B. Yehoshua
 

Latin America

Marjorie Agosin

Homero Aridjis

Isaac Chocron

Alberto Gerchunoff

Margo Glantz

Isaac Goldemberg

Clarice Lispector

Angelina Muniz-Huberman

Victor Perera

Moacyr Scliar

Ilan Stavans

Mario Szichman

Cesar Tiempo
 

South Africa

Lionel Abrahams

Charles Brasch

Jillian Becker

Shirley Eskapa

Dan Jacobson

Rose Zwi
 

United States

Saul Bellow

Allen Ginsberg

Joanne Greenberg

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Irena Klepfisz

Tony Kushner

Leslea Newman

Cynthia Ozick

Grace Paley

Adrienne Rich

Henry Roth

Muriel Rukeyser

Yiddish

Sholom Aleichem

S. Ansky

Chaim Grade

Rachel Korn

Yitshak Peretz

Isaac Bashevis Singer
 

Anthologies

Ribalow, Harold Uriel A Treasury of American Jewish Stories UCSC McHenry PS647.J4R48

Uffen, Ellen Serlen Strands of the cable the Place of the Past in Jewish American Women1s Writing UCSC McHenry PS153.J4U34 1992

Jewish Perspectives 25 years of Modern Jewish Writing , selected and edited by Jacob Sonntag UCSC McHenry PN6067.J43

Shaked, Gershon The Shadows Within Essays on Modern Jewish Writers UCSC McHenry PN842.S53 1987

Ribalow, Harold Uriel The Tie that Binds : Conversations with Jewish Writers UCSC McHenry PS153.J4R5

Voices within the Ark the Modern Jewish Poets edited by Howard Schwartz & Anthony Rudolf UCSC McHenry PN6109.5.V6 1980

Tropical Synagogues Short Stories by Jewish-Latin American Writers edited, and with an introduction by Ilan Stavans

Anderson, Elliott. Contemporary Israeli Literature an Anthology UCSC McHenry PJ5059.E1A53 1977

Never Say Die! a Thousand Years of Yiddish in Jewish life and Letters edited by Joshua A. Fishman UCSC McHenry PJ5111.N4

Liptzin, Solomon A History of Yiddish Literature UCSC McHenry PJ5120.L55 1985

Leftwich, Joseph An Anthology of Modern Yiddish Literature UCSC McHenry PJ5191.E1L43

Kahn, Lothar. Between Two Worlds a Cultural History of German-Jewish Writers UCSC McHenry PT169.K34

Jewish identities in the New Europe/ edited by Jonathan Webber UCSC McHenry DS135.E83J5 1994

Women of Exile: German-Jewish autobiographies since 1933 edited by Andreas Lixl-Purcell UCSC McHenry DS135.G5A18 1988

South African Jewish voices general editors, Robert & Roberta Kalechofsky. NRLF B 3 554 837

Patai, Raphael The Vanished Worlds of Jewry Raphael Patai; picture research by Eugene Rosow with Vivian Kleiman. 1st American ed. New York : Macmillan, 1980. UCSC McHenry DS134.P39 1980

Handbook of American-Jewish literature an analytical guide to topics, themes, and sources Lewis Fried, editor-in-chief UCSC McHenry PS153.J4H365 1988

Kahn, Lothar Mirrors of the Jewish mind; a Gallery of Portraits of European Jewish Writers of our Time UCSC McHenry DS143.K27

Jewish-American Stories / edited and with an introduction by Irving Howe UCSC McHenry PS647.J4J4

Sarah's Daughters Sing a Sampler of Poems by Jewish Women UCSC McHenry PN6109.5.S27 1990

Alter, Robert Defenses of the Imagination : Jewish Writers and Modern Historical Crisis UCSC McHenry PN842.A4

Women of the Word: Jewish women and Jewish writing / edited by Judith R. Baskin.

UCSC McHenry PN842 .W66 1994

Nadel, Ira Bruce Jewish Writers of North America : a Guide to Information Sources UCSC McHenry Z1229.J4N32 Reference

Guttmann, Allen The Jewish writer in America; assimilation and the crisis of identity UCSC McHenry PS153.J4G8

Harap, Louis In the Mainstream the Jewish Presence in Twentieth-century American literature, 1950s-1980s UCSC McHenry PS153.J4H37 1987
 

Periodicals

Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends UCSC McHenry HQ1101.B75

Judaism [New York] American Jewish Congress. UCSC McHenry BM1.J8