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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16Focusing on Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife$
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Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

A Tuml in the Shtetl: Khayim Betsalel Grinberg’s Di khevre-kedishe sude

A Tuml in the Shtetl: Khayim Betsalel Grinberg’s Di khevre-kedishe sude

(p.93) A Tuml in the Shtetl: Khayim Betsalel Grinberg’s Di khevre-kedishe sude
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16

François Guesnet

Liverpool University Press

This chapter highlights Khayim Betsalel Grinberg's comedy play Di khevre-kedishe sude, oder, Reb arye der bal-menagn (The Burial Society Banquet, or, Reb Arye the Musician), which was published in Warsaw in 1883. The play depicts the chaotic events surrounding the annual banquet of a burial society. This low-priced edition, with its dense typeface, cheap paper, and numerous typographical errors and irregularities, is a good example of the popular literature that Jews were soon to call shund. Here was a book that did not hide the fact that its readership was to be found among the less well-to-do, and that had no claims to higher spiritual values. Within the history of Yiddish literature, it represents a kind of pulp literature avant la lettre, as the term shund was not coined before the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Khayim Betsalel Grinberg, comedy play, burial society, popular literature, Jews, shund, Yiddish literature, pulp literature, avant la letter

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