Discovering and Delighting in the Lost Ark of Yiddish

Reflecting on a trip to Cuba, Miriam Udel demonstrates how Yiddish literature is a covered ark waiting to be discovered. Invoking the work of Yiddish writer Eliezer Shteynbarg, Udel discuss the fragility of Yiddish literature and urges us to not only read Yiddish literature, but to ask ourselves: What does this have to do with my Jewish life? Ultimately, Udel argues Yiddish literature can speak volumes to contemporary Jews and should explored for both its language and its lessons.

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a PhD in Comparative Literature Harvard University. Her research interests include Yiddish modernism, genre studies, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque, published by University of Michigan Press. Her current research focuses on Yiddish children’s literature, and she is preparing an annotated, translated anthology called Honey on the Page, slated to appear with New York University Press in 2018.

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