By Jeffrey Shandler
Adventures in Yiddishland examines the transformation of Yiddish within the six many years because the Holocaust, tracing its shift from the language of lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of Jews to what the writer phrases a postvernacular language of numerous and increasing symbolic price. With a radical command of recent Yiddish tradition in addition to its centuries-old heritage, Jeffrey Shandler investigates the outstanding variety of up to date encounters with the language. His research traverses the wide spectrum of people that have interaction with Yiddish--from Hasidim to avant-garde performers, Jews in addition to non-Jews, fluent audio system in addition to those that recognize very little Yiddish--in groups around the Americas, in Europe, Israel, and different outposts of ''Yiddishland.''
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Additional resources for Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture. S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies
In addition to the insights these objects offer into the meaning of Yiddish in American Jewish popular culture during the past six decades, they demonstrate how new, growing forms of Jewish culture—here, the creation, promotion, purchasing, and collecting of objects—interface with cultural practices that have atrophied—in this instance, Yiddish ﬂuency. The ﬁnal chapter interrogates the theorizing of Yiddish, beginning with its pervasive characterization as a moribund language—a trope that began to be sounded just as Yiddish culture ﬂourished with unprecedented innovation and energy at the turn of the twentieth century.
POSTVERNACULARITY 23 Yiddish actor and radio announcer Zvee Scooler in the studio of radio station WEVD, New York City, in the mid-1960s, holding a copy of Instant Yiddish. This sound recording, scripted by Fred Kogos, features Scooler and actress Maria Karnilova in a series of lessons in conversational Yiddish. ” Courtesy of the Theatre Collection, Museum of the City of New York. To understand postvernacularity it is therefore essential not to regard it as any less valid than vernacular engagement with language.
In Israel, he maintains, “the Ashkenazim were the ﬁrst to wipe out their past. ”30 YIDDISH ON TRIAL Within any given constellation of languages the choice to speak, write, or perform in Yiddish (or to refrain from doing so) has always been invested with meaning, beyond the content of what is actually being uttered. (For instance, a live recording of a recital in the United States by cantor Moshe Koussevitzky begins with him announcing in English that he will sing the aria “Rachel, quand du Seigneur” from Jacques Fromenthal Halévy’s opera La Juive.
Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture. S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies by Jeffrey Shandler