Theses Doctoral

The Radical Years of I.L. Peretz

Mahalel, Adi

This dissertation analyzes the works of Yiddish and Hebrew writer Isaac Leib Peretz (1852-1915) during the 1890's. It criticaly engages with the entire range of Peretz's literary output during this period in both languages. It argues that Peretz functioned as a literary agent of the Jewish working class in Eastern Europe which was an ethnic-class fraction that was represented politically by the emerging Jewish Socialist Bund. During this period, Peretz's Yiddish-centric ideology emerged alongside his development as a writer of prose as well as of poetry. Thus he evolved from being a social realist, naturalist, and romantic bilingual politically radical writer into becoming a predominantly Yiddish writer of symbolist drama, folk-tales, and neo-romantic Hasidic stories and poetry during the 20th century. This thesis refutes the long-standing convention in Peretz-scholarship that his interest in new literary styles coinsided with a rejection of revolutionary politics; rather it reflected his ongoing search for new ways of expressing his radicalism.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Germanic Languages
Thesis Advisors
Miron, Dan
Dauber, Jeremy A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014