Harriet Murav, Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011), 416 pp., $65.00 (pb), ISBN 9780804774437. Harriet Murav’s fascinating and important Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia , engages in a long tradition in the scholarly study of Jewish literature – multilingualism. Most Jewish literary scholars recognize that Jewish literature and culture was always about multilingualism and translation, whether it be the internal Jewish bilingualism of Hebrew and Yiddish or more contemporary multilingualisms of diasporic literature in English, French, Arabic, and in this case, Russian. One could be forgiven for asking why it took so long to bring this trend to Jewish literature produced in post-revolutionary Russia. Jewish literature in the Soviet Union and beyond has generally been treated as either a pariah of Jewish literature, mouthing banal Stalinist slogans and, therefore, not worthy of study. Or when it was deemed important, Murav argues, cultural historians have taken Jewish literature in the Soviet Union as a historical object of study, a reflection of the Soviet world around it rather than as literature on its own terms. Murav rightly points out that scholars have been fascinated by
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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