Splendor, Decline, and Rediscovery of Yiddish in Latin America

Editors: Malena Chinski and Alan Astro
Splendor, Decline, and Rediscovery of Yiddish in Latin America presents Yiddish culture as it developed in an area seldom associated with the language. Yet several countries—Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Uruguay—became centers for Yiddish literature, journalism, political activism, theater, and music. Chapters by historians, linguists, and literary critics explore the flourishing of Yiddish there in the early 20th century, its retraction in the 1960’s, and contemporary endeavors to rescue this marginalized legacy.
Topics discussed in the volume include the literary figures of the “Jewish gaucho” and the peddler, the regional Yiddish press, the communal struggle against trafficking in women, cultural responses to the Holocaust, intra-Jewish conflict during the Cold War, debates on assimilation versus tradition, and emergent postvernacular Yiddish.

"The editors explain the renewed interest in—or 'revival' of—Yiddish in Latin America from the 1980s on as part of a broader global phenomenon. This volume sheds light on that phenomenon, while also being a part of it."
- Amy Kerner, Brown University, Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina 30.1 (2019)

"As a pioneering scholarly anthology in its field, Splendor, Decline, and Rediscovery of Yiddish in Latin America is to be warmly greeted."
- Zachary M. Baker, Stanford University, Journal of Jewish Identities 13.1 (2020)

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Malena Chinski, Ph.D. (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, 2017), is postdoctoral fellow at the National Council for Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET). She has published on Shoah commemoration in Buenos Aires, Yiddish book publication in Argentina, and family correspondence in Yiddish.
Alan Astro, Ph.D. (Yale, 1985), is professor at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) and author of articles on Bashevis, Baudelaire, Beckett, and Borges. He is the editor of Yiddish South of the Border: An Anthology of Latin American Yiddish Writing (University of New Mexico Press, 2003).
"The editors explain the renewed interest in—or 'revival' of—Yiddish in Latin America from the 1980s on as part of a broader global phenomenon. This volume sheds light on that phenomenon, while also being a part of it." - Amy Kerner, Brown University, in: Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina 30.1 (2019)
Notes on Contributors A Note on Transcriptions from Yiddish Introduction Malena Chinski and Alan Astro PART 1 On the History of Yiddish in Latin America 1 The Yiddish Side of Jewish Brazil: Cultural Endeavors and Literary Heritage Roney Cytrynowicz 2 Yiddish Culture After the Shoah: Refugee Writers and Artists as “Fresh Creative Energies” for Buenos Aires Malena Chinski 3 The Abandonment of Yiddish by the Jewish-Argentine Communist icuf Israel Lotersztain PART 2 Reading Yiddish Literary Works 4 Baginen by José Winiecki: The Dawn of the Ashkenazic Jewish Community of Mexico in a Didactic Key Tamara Gleason Freidberg 5 Yiddish and Criollismo: The Case of Mordkhe Alperson's Der “lindzhero” Susana Skura and Lucas Fiszman 6 Stories by Two Yiddish Writers in Uruguay: Shloyme Zytner and Elie Verblun Alan Astro PART 3 Individual Portraits 7 Simja Sneh: A Language in Solitude Perla Sneh 8 Pinie Katz and I Javier Sinay 9 Becoming Cuban in Yiddish: The Poetry of Eliezer Aronowsky Rosa Perelmuter 10 Der freylekhster yid in Argentine: The Life and Death of Jevl Katz, Popular Artist of the 1930s Ariel Svarch Index
This book is for those interested in Yiddish, Latin America, and modern Jewish life, in particular; as well as in minority literatures, identity, and acculturation, in general. Historians, literary critics and linguists will find much of concern to them here.