Touching Time: Poetry, History, and the Erotics of Yiddish

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

[...]it is the current state of Yiddish that casts it as potential fetish, specifically the combination of "a moment of crisis" located within and exposed through a "cross-cultural exchange." Adding the qualification "though we never used the word.,"' Klepfisz highlights both the presence and the unspeakability of the lesbian dwelling in the term "roommate/' and in the Yiddish word lezbianĶe, which may be explicit, but is equally unused. [...]by letting the woman in the poem "acknowledge her passion" in English, and be a IezbianĶe in Yiddish, Klepfisz avoids an assimilationist progress narrative in which we move from an oppressive traditional world (in Yiddish) to a modern liberated world in English. [...]the poem takes flight in untranslated Yiddish, forcing us to activate the knowledge given earlier. [...]Johnson writes, "every effort to patch the vessel together only breaks it further."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-121
Number of pages23
JournalCriticism
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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