Monday, 16 September 2013

Calvert Journal and Yiddish writers

Calvert Journal is new to me, but it is an ezine I'll need to watch out for. Not only has Owen Hatherley written about the Moscow Metro (a joy for anyone to see) but he has written a long review of the Five Leaves book From Revolution to Repression - Soviet Yiddish writing 1917-1952 in which is included some of the early Chagall illustrations reprinted from the book. (I mention them as one of the illos appears in the current Chagall exhibition in Liverpool, but is wrongly attributed there!). The journal specialises in Russian art and life.
We are very pleased with the review - perhaps too long to reprint here, other than the start: Current events must make the recent opening of a Museum of Tolerance in Moscow look like a bad joke. The museum in fact concentrates on a quite specific area of “tolerance” — the experience of Russian Jews. As ever, the word “tolerance” suggests a certain guilty conscience. Historically, Russia's Jews were perhaps the most visible minority in a territory which has always been a multiplicity of different groups, languages and peoples, entirely inadequately subsumed under the term “Russian”. Even after the break-up of the USSR, the Russian Federation still includes many autonomous republics and national territories inherited from the old Russian Federated Soviet Republic. A new book, From Revolution to Repression: Soviet Yiddish Writing, 1917-52 (Five Leaves Press), edited by the late Yiddishist Joseph Sherman, is a reminder of the distinctive culture that arose in this space — and a reminder of why some would prefer to forget it.
The whole review is on
Hatherley seems to suddenly be in Five Leaves' orbit as he is also a contributor to our forthcoming book on Ian Nairn.
From Revolution to Repression has sold its first printing, but the reprint will be through very shortly.

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