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 thousands of Jews to what the writer phrases a postvernacular language of various and increasing symbolic price. With a radical command of contemporary Yiddish tradition in addition to its centuries-old heritage, Jeffrey Shandler investigates the awesome range of latest encounters with the language. His research traverses the huge 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 info for Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies)
These provisions included the right to establish trade unions, political parties, schools, presses, and cultural institutions run in their own languages. 37 During the 1930s, state-endorsed and -supported Yiddish cultural institutions that had been established in Soviet Russia in the previous decade came under increasingly oppressive governmental control, sometimes at the hands of fellow Jews in leadership positions in the Russian Communist Party. ” This cartoon by Zuni Maud was published in the American Yiddish humor magazine Der groyser kundes (The Big Prankster) in 1921.
These events transform the vernacular use of Yiddish through practices in which the language, rather than serving as a means of performance, has become the performance’s end. Often this transformation entails the professionalization of speaking Yiddish as a performance skill; at other times, it involves complementing or even replacing spoken Yiddish with other forms of communication, including nonverbal ones, such as instrumental music or dance. The study of these recent events reveals how, in the postvernacular mode, the uttering of Yiddish is an increasingly self-conscious practice, since saying something in Yiddish has become a noteworthy activity above and beyond what is being said.
IMAGINING YIDDISHLAND 33 What is the status of Yiddishland in a conversation in which one party speaks Yiddish and the other responds in another language? Does talking to oneself in Yiddish constitute Yiddishland, or is some sort of community, even a community of two, required? And what about thinking or dreaming in Yiddish? Examples of the use of the term Yiddishland are noteworthy not only in their quantity but also in their variety and, moreover, in the range of implications inherent in their use.