Bearing the Unbearable: Yiddish and Polish Poetry in the by Frieda W. Aaron

By Frieda W. Aaron

This publication is a pioneering learn of Yiddish and Polish-Jewish focus camp and ghetto poetry. It unearths the effect of the immediacy of expertise as a formative effect on conception, reaction, and literary mind's eye, arguing that literature that's contemporaneous with unfolding occasions bargains perceptions various from these awarded after the fact.

Documented here's the emergence of poetry because the dominant literary shape and fastest response to the atrocities. The authors exhibits that the undertaking of the poets used to be to supply testimony to their epoch, to talk for themselves and when you perished. For the Jews within the condemned international, this poetry used to be a automobile of cultural sustenance, a way of maintaining conventional values, and an expression of ethical defiance that frequently stored the spirit of the readers from dying.
The explication of the poetry (which has been translated through the writer) supply hard implications for the sector of serious conception, together with shifts in literary practices--prompted via the transforming into atrocities--that display a spectrum of advanced experimental techniques.

"...this booklet has singular value as a learn of poetry relating to the Holocaust...[and] actual advantage as a source within the burgeoning box of severe idea usually, poetics in particular."--Terrence Des Pres

"...a special contribution to Holocaust scholarship."--Irving Halperin

" is without doubt one of the top works I ever learn at the subject..."--Miriam Novitch

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Additional info for Bearing the Unbearable: Yiddish and Polish Poetry in the Ghettos and Concentration Camps (SUNY Series in Modern Jewish Literature & Culture)

Sample text

Things" resonates with echoes of Tuwim's Ba1 w operze (The Ball at the Opera),a powerful poem of 1936 full of forebodings of the Holocaust. Like The Ball at the Opera, "Things" vibrates with dazzling rhythms, the metallic ring of colloquialisms, as well as the ironic and grotesque. While The Ball at the Opera is an encapsulated history of the interwar period in Poland, "Things" is a contraction of the history of the Warsaw ghetto. Written late (the end of 1942 or beginning of 1943), this poem is an evocation of a Dantesque hell into which the condemned are irrevocably driven.

Yet when Szlengel wrote his early poem "Telephone," he probably envisioned, like the rest of the incredulous world, neither the savagery nor the extent of the tragedy that was to come. A long poem (twenty-four stanzas of four lines each with an uneven rhyme schemel, "Telefon," like all Szlengel's ghetto poetry, is marked by "unpoetic" language. From the very beginning of his incarceration in the Warsaw ghetto and his determination to record events, Szlengel apparently had the prescience to realize that he was writing his "documentary poems" (wierszedokumentyl, as he called them, for and about the dying and the 22 0 Bearing the Unbearable dead.

Bedding, pots-yessirreebut already without rugs. No sign of silverware, no more cherry wine, no suits, no featherbeds, no little jars, no portraits. All these trifles left on Sliska, in the coat-pocket a bottle of vodka and a chunk of sausage. In carts, rickshaws, and wagons the gloomy motley rides ... Again they left Niska all heading toward the blocks. No more furniture, no stools, no pots, no bundles. Lost are the teapots, books, featherbeds, little jars. To the devil went the suits and knicknacks.

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