Watching the (Yiddish) Detectives: Meaning, Identity, and Language in Yiddish Detective Fiction
A Focus On
This month, in conjunction with Professor Anita Norich's recently published Pakn Treger article, Kadya Molodovsky: A Woman Novelist Rediscovered, we're focusing on the celebrated Yiddish writer. From our Steven Speilberg Digital Yiddish Library, Fun Lublin biz Nyu Yorḳ ṭog-bukh fun Rivḳe Zilberg tells the story of Rivke Zilberg, a twenty-year-old woman who flees the Nazis and comes to her aunt’s home in New York. In her Pakn Treger article, Norich recounts her discovery of two long-forgotten novels by the Yiddish author. And from our Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library, a remastered recording of Kadya Molodovsky in conversation with Abraham Tabachnik, recorded at Montreal's Jewish Public Library in 1955.
Handpicked Eddy Portnoy
Eddy Portnoy, the academic advisor and exhibits coordinator at YIVO, is one of the leading scholars of Yiddish popular culture. He loves—and knows—it all: cartoons, humor magazines, puppet shows, the underbelly of the Yiddish Press, and, famously, the fighters. His research on the popularity of wrestling among Jews in interwar Poland led to the widely successful YIVO exhibit, Yiddish Fight Club. This month, we’re pleased to share some of Eddy’s selections from the Center's Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library.
Idish Amerike (Yiddish America)
A long, strange trip through 1920s-era Yiddish literature and poetry accompanied by some amazing illustrations. Noyekh Shteynberg's anthology includes the works of writers such as Moishe Leyb Halperin, Isaac Raboy, Moishe Nadir, and Hey Leyvik, with illustrations by Chagall, Manievetsh, Gropper, and Lozowick. The only Yiddish book I know of wrapped in ersatz lizard skin covers.
A mish-mosh of wildly creative stories and illustrations by Yosl Cutler, one of the most original and unique characters in Yiddish cultural life. Includes one of the first Yiddish science fiction stories, “Afn shtern mars” (On the Planet Mars), as well as a great deal of left wing political work in both prose, poem, and cartoon.
Mitn kop arop parodyes (With Head Down Low: Parodies)
A collection of parodies by the top satirist in twentieth-century Yiddish literature. Der Tunkeler captures the voices of his targets and runs riot with their prose. From Shomer to Sholem Aleichem, from David Berglson to Der Nister, no one is safe from the poison pen of Yoysef Tunkl.