Negotiating Jewish Canadian identity: Montreal Yiddish literary journals in the interwar period

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In the first decades of the twentieth century, Yiddish journals emerged world- wide in tandem with the periodical press as a vanguard of modern Jewish cul- ture. Canada’s Yiddish publishing capital of Montreal produced a dozen inter- war journals dedicated to Yiddish literature. The journals published innovative works by writers across Canada while forging links with both international Yid- dish culture and world literature. With a shared a roster of Canadian writers, the journals gave voice to ideological rifts in the Yiddish world: journals of the 1920s such as Nyuansn promoted an “art for art’s sake” approach; the proletarian journals that dominated the Depression era such as Montreol and Heftn linked literature with the struggle of the working class. Together, the journals provided a forum for emerging writers in a minor Yiddish center, closely connected to the major centers in Europe and the United States, to negotiate their evolving identi- ties as Canadian Jews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-48
Number of pages25
JournalShofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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