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The Last of the Purim Players: Itzik Manger

Roskies, David G.

After 1920, there was only one place left on earth where Yiddish storytelling could grow and prosper, and that place was Poland. The pace and political pressures of Jewish life in the Americas, the Soviet "Republics," and Palestine had turned folklore, fantasy, and the stylized folktale either into pablum for progressive children or into the lethal vestige of a petit-bourgeois and reactionary past. In Poland, with poverty so great, the pace of change so gradual, and the vestigial presence of the past so much a part of the living present, ethnography was just about the only thing the Jews were producing in abundance.

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Jewish Theological Seminary
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November 12, 2012