The Rise of the Modern Yiddish Theater

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Alyssa Quint
Jews in Eastern Europe
  • Bloomington, IN: 
    Indiana University Press
    , January
     2019.
     304 pages.
     $60.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780253038616.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Alyssa Quint focuses on the early years of the modern Yiddish theater, from roughly 1876 to 1883, through the works of one of its best-known and most colorful figures, Avrom Goldfaden. Goldfaden (né Goldenfaden, 1840-1908) was one of the first playwrights to stage a commercially viable Yiddish-language theater, first in Romania and then in Russia. Goldfaden’s work was rapidly disseminated in print and his plays were performed frequently for Jewish audiences. Sholem Aleichem considered him as a forger of a new language that "breathed the European spirit into our old jargon." Quint uses Goldfaden’s theatrical works as a way to understand the social life of Jewish theater in Imperial Russia. Through a study of his libretti, she looks at the experiences of Russian Jewish actors, male and female, to explore connections between culture as artistic production and culture in the sense of broader social structures. Quint explores how Jewish actors who played Goldfaden’s work on stage absorbed the theater into their everyday lives. Goldfaden’s theater gives a rich view into the conduct, ideology, religion, and politics of Jews during an important moment in the history of late Imperial Russia.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Alyssa Quint is Vilna Collections Scholar-in-Residence at YIVO Institute of Jewish Research. She is editor (with Justin Daniel Cammy, Dara Horn, and Rachel Rubinstein) of Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon. She is also a member of the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments