Der Nister's Soviet Years

Yiddish Writer as Witness to the People

by Mikhail Krutikov

Published by: Indiana University Press

312 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 5 black & white

  • Paperback
  • 9780253041876
  • Published: April 2019


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  • Hardcover
  • 9780253041869
  • Published: April 2019


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  • eBook
  • 9780253041906
  • Published: April 2019


In Der Nister's Soviet Years, author Mikhail Krutikov focuses on the second half of the dramatic writing career of Soviet Yiddish writer Der Nister, pen name of Pinhas Kahanovich (1884–1950). Krutikov follows Der Nister's painful but ultimately successful literary transformation from his symbolist roots to social realism under severe ideological pressure from Soviet critics and authorities. This volume reveals how profoundly Der Nister was affected by the destruction of Jewish life during WWII and his own personal misfortunes. While Der Nister was writing a history of his generation, he was arrested for anti-government activities and died tragically from a botched surgery in the Gulag. Krutikov illustrates why Der Nister's work is so important to understandings of Soviet literature, the Russian Revolution, and the catastrophic demise of the Jewish community under Stalin.