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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15Focusing on Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774716.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Jewish Writers in Polish Literature

Jewish Writers in Polish Literature

(p.359) Jewish Writers in Polish Literature
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15

Eugenia Prokop-Janiec

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores Jewish contributions to Polish literature in the period between the two world wars. This literary activity mirrored social and cultural processes, such as the democratization of the Polish intelligentsia, with its absorption of members from the middle class, and the acculturation and linguistic Polonization of various Jewish groups. The literary question thus became a symbol of the new — and for the most part complex and difficult — relationship between Poles and Jews. It is not a coincidence that the two groups especially involved in the discussion were acculturated Jews and Polish nationalists. The views of these two groups set the parameters for description, interpretation, and evaluation of the literature to which all other participants had little choice but to conform. In general terms, their discussion ranged from acceptance of Jewish literature in non-Jewish languages as a contribution to world literature to treating it as an infiltration of the host culture; from description of the emerging literary group to examination of literary texts for the national or racial traits that were assumed to appear in them. In the space between these polarities there was room for a whole range of intermediate views.

Keywords:   Jewish writers, Polish literature, Jewish literature, host culture, literary texts, Polish–Jewish social relations

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