The Moscow State Yiddish Theater

The Moscow State Yiddish Theater : Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage

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Jeffrey Veidlinger relates a fascinating and little-known piece of history.... [He] distills a remarkable amount of research into a pithy, well-turned account that will interest readers of cultural and political history." -Publishers WeeklyDrawing from newly available archives, Jeffrey Veidlinger uses the dramatic story of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, the premiere secular Jewish cultural institution of the Soviet era, to demonstrate how Jewish writers and artists were able to promote Jewish national culture within the confines of Soviet nationality policies.Published with the generous support of the Lucius N. Littauer more

Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 137.2 x 221 x 27.9mm | 476.28g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 50 b&w photos
  • 0253218926
  • 9780253218926
  • 2,056,846

About Jeffrey Veidlinger

Jeffrey Veidlinger is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Associate Director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana more

Review quote

Veidlinger's richly researched and observed history of an underrepresented historical topic depicts the problems attendant on creating and preserving Yiddish as a language and a national and theatrical culture within the restrictive and propagandistic Soviet culture that sought to appropriate and subvert it. The Yiddish theater movement also faced orthodox rabbinical opposition based on the rejection of pagan influences and the increased agency of women, whose role in traditional religious practices was severely limited. Modeled after the Moscow Art Theatre, the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre (MSYT) listed among its creative leaders director Granovsky (who employed Meyerhold's revolutionary biomechanics to train actors), painter-designer Chagall, actor-director Mikhoels (whose death Stalin most likely engineered), and cubist-supremacist designer Altman (who also worked with Meyerhold and at the Habirna Theatre). MSYT's advent in a decade during which the state was pushing to forge a new proletarian culture from a variety of cultural discourses provided some temporary protection from anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist attacks. Veidlinger is good both at delineating the suspicious, tactical relationship between artists and ideologues that characterized Soviet culture and in framing the question of what constitutes a national or narodnaia (people's, folk, or mass) culture, which haunted this nation for more than a century. Photographs and an extensive bibliography. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- S. Golub * Brown University , 2001jul CHOICE. *show more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsA Note on Transliteration and TranslationIntroduction: Soviet Jewish Culture or Soviet Culture in Yiddish?1. "Let's Perform a Miracle": The Creation of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater2. Comrades from the Center: State, Party, and Stage3. Wandering Stars: Tour and Reconstruction4. The Court Is in Session: Judgment Postponed5. Where Are the Maccabees?: The Heroic Past6. One Generation Passes Away: The Great Terror7. Brother Jews: Mikhoels and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee8. Our People Live: The Yiddish Theater during World War II9. This Is a Bad Omen: The Last ActConclusion: The Moscow State Yiddish TheaterNotes BibliographyIndexshow more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1)
4 62% (5)
3 12% (1)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
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