Cover: Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon: Essays on Literature and Culture in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse, from Harvard University PressCover: Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon in HARDCOVER

Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon

Essays on Literature and Culture in Honor of Ruth R. Wisse

Add to Cart

Product Details


$75.00 • £54.95 • €67.50

ISBN 9780674025851

Publication: January 2009


750 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 halftones; 5 line illustrations

Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies


  • Introduction
  • Part I: Making a Canon
    • Writing Jewish [Hillel Halkin]
    • Knocking on Heaven’s Gate: Hebrew Literature and Wisse’s Canon [Alan Mintz]
    • Holocaust Literature: Foreshadowings and Shadowings [David Aberbach]
    • Of Jews and Canons: Further Thoughts [Ilan Stavans]
    • A Jewish Artistic Canon [Ezra Mendelsohn]
    • Judging The Judgment of Shomer: Jewish Literautre versus Jewish Reading [Justin Cammy]
    • The Judgment of Shomer or The Jury Trial of All of Shomer’s Novels [Sholem Aleichem, translated by Justin Cammy]
  • Part II: Reading Wisse’s Canonical Authors
    • Daniel Deronda: “The Zionist Fate in English Hands” and “The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews” [Edward Alexander]
    • The Pleasure of Disregarding Red Lights: A Reading of Sholem Aleichem’s “Monologue ‘A Nisref’” [Dan Miron]
    • The Hershele Maze: Isaac Babel and his Ghost Reader [Sasha Senderovich]
    • The Open Suitcases: Yankev Glatshteyn’s Ven Yash Iz Gekumen [Avarham Novershtern]
    • Seductions and Disputations: Pseudo-Dialogues in the Fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer [Miriam Udel-Lambert]
    • Gimpel the Simple and on Reading from Right to Left [David G. Roskies]
    • Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Short Story “Androgynous” [Susanne Klingenstein]
    • Building Bridges Destined to Fall: Biological and Literary Paternity in Appelfeld’s The Ice Mine [Philip Hollander]
    • Life/Writing: Aharon Appelfeld’s Autobiographical Work and the Modern Jewish Canon [Naomi B. Sokoloff]
    • Henry Roth, Hebrew, and the Unspeakable [Hana Wirth-Nesher]
    • The Modern Hero as Schlemiel: The Swede in Philip Roth’s American Pastoral [Michael Kimmage]
  • Part III: Conversations Across Canons and Between Texts
    • Innovation by Translation: Yiddish and Hasidic Hebrew in Literary History [Ken Frieden]
    • Creating Yiddish Dialogue for “The First Modern Yiddish Comedy” [Marion Aptroot]
    • The Smoke of Civilization: The Dialectic of Enlightenment in Sh. Y. Abramovitsh’s Di Klyatshe [Marc Caplan]
    • Yiddish Canon Consciousness and the Dionysiac Spirit of Music [Jed Wyrick]
    • Joyce’s Yiddish: Modernism, Translation, and the Jews [Rachel Rubenstein]
    • The Transmission of Poetic Anger: An Unexploded Shell in the Jewish Canon [Janet Hadda]
    • Guilt, Mourning, Idol Worship, and Golem Writing: The Symptoms of a Jewish Literary Canon [Emily Miller Budick]
  • Part IV: Interventions: Expanding Wisse’s Canon
    • What’s So Funny about Yiddish Theater? Comedy and the Origins of Yiddish Drama [Jeremy Dauber]
    • Naked Truths: Avrom Goldfaden’s The Fanatic of the Two Kuni-Lemls [Alyssa Quint]
    • Memory as Metaphor: Meir Wiener’s Novel Kolev Ashkenazi as Critique of the Jewish Historical Imagination [Mikhail Krutikov]
    • Shmuel Nadler’s Besht-Simfonye: At the Limits of Orthodox Literature [Beatrice Lang Caplan]
    • Chava Rosenfarb and The Tree of Life [Goldie Morgentaler]
    • Fiddles on Willow Trees: The Missing Polish Link in the Jewish Canon [Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska]
    • The Kvetcher in the Rye: J. D. Salinger and the Challenges to the Modern Jewish Canon [Leah Garrett]
    • Israeli Identity in a Post-Zionist Age [Yaron Peleg]
  • Part V. Writers, Critics, and Canons
    • Bellow’s Canon [Jonathan Rosen]
    • The Eicha Problem [Dara Horn]
    • The Grand Explainer [Cynthia Ozick]
  • Ruth Wisse Bibliography
  • Contributors