Sholom Aleichem | Irving Howe

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of Sholom Aleichem.
This section contains 1,419 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Irving Howe

SOURCE: "Sholom Aleichem: Voice of Our Past," in his A World More Attractive: A View of Modern Literature and Politics, Horizon, 1963, pp. 207-15.

In the following excerpt, Howe discusses Aleichem's significance within the Jewish literary tradition, asserting 'He is, I think, the only modern writer who may truly be said to be a culture-hero. "

Fifty of sixty years ago the Jewish intelligentsia, its head buzzing with Zionist, Socialist and Yiddishist ideas, tended to look down upon Sholom Aleichem. His genius was acknowledged, but his importance skimped. To the intellectual Jewish youth in both Warsaw and New York he seemed old-fashioned, lacking in complexity and rebelliousness—it is even said that he showed no appreciation of existentialism. . . .

The conventional estimate—that Sholom Aleichem was a folksy humorist, a sort of jolly gleeman of the shtetl—is radically false. He needs to be rescued from...

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This section contains 1,419 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Irving Howe
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