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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joseph M Butwin
ENGL 311
Seattle Campus

Modern Jewish Literature in Translation

Survey of Jewish experience and its literary expression since 1880. Includes such Yiddish writers as Sholom Aleichem, Peretz, and I. B. Singer; such Israeli writers as Agnon, Hazaz, and Appelfeld; and such writers in non-Jewish languages as Primo Levi and Kafka.

Class description

For AUTUMN 2006: This course requires the words “in translation” in order to accommodate the many languages adopted by Jewish writers after 1880 – Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, German…. But as I look to the content and not simply the language of these stories, I am inclined to replace the word “translation” with “transition,” for new writing in each of these languages would emerge from the alteration, the migration, and the Revolution that would transform traditional Jewish life in the shtetl and the ghetto of Eastern Europe before its obliteration in the early 1940s. This course will reveal the vitality of this multi-lingual Jewish culture before the Second World War. Our readings are entirely comprised of short fiction from the Yiddish of Sholom Aleichem and I.L. Peretz, the Hebrew of Dvora Baron, the Russian of Isaac Babel and the German of Franz Kafka and Joseph Roth.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional ENGL course descriptions.
Last Update by Sherry May Laing
Date: 05/10/2006