New men for a new world: reconstituted masculinities in Jewish-Russian literature (1903 – 1925)

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dc.contributor.author Calof, Ethan
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-01T23:43:08Z
dc.date.copyright 2019 en_US
dc.date.issued 2019-05-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/10835
dc.description.abstract This Master’s thesis explores Jewish masculinity and identity within early twentieth-century literature (1903-1925), using texts written by Jewish authors in late imperial Russia and the early Soviet Union. This was a period of change for Russia’s Jewish community, involving increased secularization and reform, massive pogroms such as in Kishinev in 1903, newfound leadership within the 1905 and 1917 Revolutions, and a rise in both Zionist and Revolutionary ideology. Subsequently, Jewish literary masculinity experienced a significant shift in characterization. Historically, a praised Jewish man had been portrayed as gentle, scholarly, and faithful, yet early twentieth century Jewish male literary figures were asked to be physically strong, hypermasculine, and secular. This thesis first uses H.N. Bialik’s “In the City of Slaughter” (1903) and Sholem Aleichem’s “Tevye Goes to Palestine” (1914) to introduce a concept of “Jewish shame,” or a sentiment that historical Jewish masculinity was insufficient for a contemporary Russian world. It then creates two models for these new men to follow. The Assimilatory Jew, seen in Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry cycle (published throughout the 1920s), held that perpetual outsider Jewish men should imitate the behaviour of a secular whole in order to be accepted. The Jewish Superman is depicted in Vladimir Jabotinsky’s “In Memory of Herzl” (1904) and Ilya Selvinsky’s “Bar Kokhba” (1920), and argues that masculine glory is entirely compatible with a proud Jewish identity, without an external standard needed. Judith Butler’s theories on gender performativity are used to analyze these diverse works, published in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian by authors of varying political alignments, to establish commonalities among these literary canons and plot a new spectrum of desired identities for Jewish men. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Russian literature en_US
dc.subject Jewish literature en_US
dc.subject Jewish masculinity en_US
dc.subject masculinity en_US
dc.subject Russian Jewish en_US
dc.subject Ze'ev Jabotinsky en_US
dc.subject Jewish identity en_US
dc.subject Russian Jewry en_US
dc.subject Red Cavalry en_US
dc.subject Russian Civil War en_US
dc.subject Zionist masculinity en_US
dc.subject Early Zionism en_US
dc.subject Bolshevism en_US
dc.subject Late Imperial Russia en_US
dc.subject New Soviet Man en_US
dc.subject Hayyim Nahman Bialik en_US
dc.subject Hebrew literature en_US
dc.subject Yiddish literature en_US
dc.subject Ilya Selvinsky en_US
dc.subject Isaac Babel en_US
dc.subject Kishinev pogrom en_US
dc.subject 1903 Kishinev pogrom en_US
dc.subject 1905 October Revolution en_US
dc.subject 1917 Russian Revolution en_US
dc.subject pale of settlement en_US
dc.subject Sholem Aleichem en_US
dc.subject Tevye the Dairyman en_US
dc.subject Bar Kokhba en_US
dc.title New men for a new world: reconstituted masculinities in Jewish-Russian literature (1903 – 1925) en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Yekelchyk, Serhy
dc.degree.department Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Arts M.A. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.embargo 2020-04-10

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