Debora Vogel

Montage: Works by Debora Vogel, translated by Anastasiya Lyubas (White Goat Press, 2023)

As translator Anastasiya Lyubas writes in her brief introduction to the book, "Inspired by the use of montage in film and photography, cubist collage, atonal music, and the genre of reportage at the intersection of literature and journalism, Vogel created her own literary montage. In an essay 'Montage as a Literary Genre' (1937), Vogel explains her personal theory behind the method, writing that 'montage allows for empty spaces between particular situations in a similar way as they occur in life.'

"Through montage Vogel managed to convey the mundane, seemingly insignificant events of a day together with the events usually considered to be momentous and important. Blooming acacias, musings about the meaning of life, and the latest fashion trends coexist in life—just as they do in Vogel’s montage—with military marches, economic crises, and political changes. No event is more important than another. Events happen simultaneously in montage cuts, illuminated from a variety of angles by Vogel’s singular style.

"Because Yiddish was not spoken in her parents’ home, Vogel had to learn the language as an adult. There are none of her own accounts to explain the linguistic choice to write in Yiddish. Regardless, her experiments in poetry and prose pushed the limits of what had been considered possible in the language."

About the Author

Dvoyre Fogel was born in Ukraine in 1902 to a Polish-speaking family. Fogel studied philosophy in Vienna and Polish literature in Krakow, receiving her PhD in 1926. While at university, Fogel became active in Yiddish literary circles and wrote articles for local Yiddish journals and Polish journals. She published two books of Yiddish poetry—Tog-Figurn (1930) and Manekinen (1934)—and a book of short sketches, Akatsyes Bliyen (1935), in both Polish and Yiddish. She was a member of the circle of major Polish avant-garde Unist visual artists. The artistic philosophy of Unism influenced Fogel’s work, eliminating all emotional expression in favor of a disciplined unity of color and form. Together with her husband and son, Fogel was killed in the Lwów ghetto in 1942. (Source: Jewish Women's Archive)

About the Translator

Anastasiya Lyubas, PhD (Binghamton University, 2018) is the author of Blooming Spaces: The Collected Poetry, Prose, Critical Writing and Letters by Debora Vogel (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2020). The volume is the recipient of honorable mention for the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work from MLA (2021). Anastasiya is also the author of White Words: Essays, Letters, Reviews and Polemics by Debora Vogel, published in Kyiv (2019). She has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Northrop Frye Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, a Research Fellow at MLCRC at Ryerson University, a Max Weinreich Fellow at YIVO, a Translation Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, and a Fulbright scholar.