Babel' in Context: A Study in Cultural Identity

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Isaak Babel (1894–1940) is arguably one of the greatest modern short story writers of the early twentieth century. Yet his life and work are shrouded in the mystery of who Babel was—an Odessa Jew who wrote in Russian, who came from one of the most vibrant centers of east European Jewish culture and all his life loved Yiddish and the stories of Sholom Aleichem.This is the first book in English to study the intertextuality of Babel’s work. It looks at Babel’s cultural identity as a case study in the contradictions and tensions of literary influence, personal loyalties, and ideological constraint. The complex and often ambivalent relations between the two cultures inevitably raise controversial issues that touch on the reception of Babel and other Jewish intellectuals in Russian literature, as well as the “Jewishness” of their work
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBoston
PublisherAcademic Studies Press
Number of pages312
ISBN (Electronic)9781618118530
ISBN (Print)978936235957
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Publication series

NameBorderlines: Russian and East European Jewish Studies
PublisherAcademic Studies Press
NameJews of Russia & Eastern Europe and Their Legacy
PublisherAcademic Studies Press


  • Cultural identity
  • literature


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