The golden peacock, a traditional symbol of Yiddish poetry, is a mythical migratory bird: always on the wing and never quite arriving. Since the language evolved through Jewish migration from Germany to eastern Europe, and its literary culture flowered during another period of mass migration, Yiddish books are full of such themes as family separation, homesickness, and assimilation.
The seminar includes readings and discussions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in English translation from New York, Australia, London, Berlin, and Montreal, examining the Jewish immigrant experience through the immigrants’ own eyes. The work of prominent and lesser-known authors sheds light on both traditional Ashkenazi culture and the writers’ relationships to their new environments.
This seminar is not currently scheduled.
It was originally offered in spring 2023 via Zoom for the Scolnic Adult Institute.
Contact me if you are interested in offering this seminar or and adaptation of it through your organization or program, or if you are a prospective student would like to be notified next time it runs.