Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
1929Mapping the Jewish World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hasia Diner and Gennady Estraikh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720202

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720202.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Radical Conservatism

Radical Conservatism

Bashevis’s Dismissal of Modernism

(p.201) 13 Radical Conservatism

Joseph Sherman

NYU Press

This chapter offers a reading of “Shammai Vayts,” a short story by Yiddish writer Yitskhok Bashevis, with particular emphasis on its theoretical commitment to literary realism and rejection of experimental modernism. It first considers Bashevis's 1927 essay titled “Verter oder bilder,” in which he makes a subtle critique of the limitations of modernism and defends realism as the mode in which fiction can best represent observed reality. It then analyzes “Shammai Vayts” and its depiction of Jews drawn away from the pieties of the shtetl to the opportunities offered in the big city. It argues that embracing modernism, as David Bergelson did, or dismissing it, as did Bashevis, failed to preserve a significant body of general readers for Yiddish literature in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   short story, Yitskhok Bashevis, literary realism, experimental modernism, Jews, shtetl, David Bergelson, Yiddish literature

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.