By Diane Matza
Those choices, many to be had for the 1st time, span approximately 3 centuries and think about topics resembling the centrality of kin lifestyles, the discomfort of uprooting from proven groups, collision among culture and assimilation, roles and relationships of guys and ladies, and the toxicity of self-hatred. expert through resources starting from biblical literature to old occasions, oral traditions, classical poetics, the beat iteration, and post-modern ironies, those works introduce a literature that, "though small on an absolute scale and little identified, forces us to take a brand new serious standpoint on Jewish American writing."
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Those choices, many on hand for the 1st time, span approximately 3 centuries and view issues corresponding to the centrality of kin lifestyles, the soreness of uprooting from confirmed groups, collision among culture and assimilation, roles and relationships of guys and ladies, and the toxicity of self-hatred.
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Extra resources for Sephardic-American Voices: Two Hundred Years of a Literary Legacy (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life)
Nathan (18941985), and Lawrence Pereira Spingarn (1918) are American-born descendants of the earliest Sephardic settlers in the United States. Although some of them have espoused Jewish causes passionately, others have consciously deleted Jewish characters or identifiably Jewish themes from their work. A much larger group is made up of Sephardic immigrants from the eastern Mediterranean and their descendants. Their writings, whether on secular, religious, or ethnic themes, are tinged by their ties to Greek, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic culture.
Here, we also find work by Sephardic Jews, almost completely unknown by critics and the broader public. A re-examination of Jewish literature in the United States finds it surprisingly pluralistic, forcing us to revise the explanatory model and leaving the status of the Jewish writer in American culturemainstream versus marginalunresolved. As a minority within a minority, Sephardic Americans have necessarily existed on the margins of Jewish and American life. Their influence has been little felt, their achievements little known, and their community little analyzed.
It wasn't until the impending chaos of World War II that Nathan's Jewish consciousness appeared in his poems, warning the world of the disaster to come. In 1962, again a note of caution is sounded in A Star in the Wind, Nathan's post-Holocaust novel about the emerging state of Israel. The hero's disorientation in New York contrasts with his powerful attraction to the Jews' yearning for a homeland, suggesting that centuries of Page 19 life in America have frustrated the Jews' desire for traditions and strong roots and that absence of persecution and promises of opportunity cannot sustain a Jewish identity.
Sephardic-American Voices: Two Hundred Years of a Literary Legacy (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life) by Diane Matza