Yiddish is everywhere. We hear words like nosh, schlep, and schmutz all the time, but how did these words come to pepper American English? In Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land, Harvey Pekar and Paul Buhle trace the influence of Yiddish from medieval Europe to the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side. This comics anthology contains original stories by notable writers and artists such as Barry Deutsch, Peter Kuper, Spain Rodriguez, and Sharon Rudahl. Through illustrations, comics art, and a full-length play, four major themes are explored: culture, performance, assimilation, and the revival of the language. The last fully realized work by Harvey Pekar, this book is a thoughtful compilation that reveals the far-reaching influences of Yiddish. Praise for Yiddishkeit: “The book is about what Neal Gabler in his introduction labels ‘Jewish sensibility.’ It pervades this volume, which he acknowledges is messy; he writes: ‘You really can't define Yiddishkeit neatly in words or pictures. You sort of have to feel it by wading into it.’ The book does this with gusto.” —New York Times “Yiddishkeit is as colorful, bawdy, and charming as the culture it seeks to represent.” —Print magazine “every bit of it brimming with the charm and flavor of its subject and seamlessly meshing with the text to create a genuinely compelling, scholarly comics experience” —Publishers Weekly “Yiddishkeit is a book that truly informs about Jewish culture and, in the process, challenges readers to pick apart their own vocabulary.” —Chicago Tribune “a postvernacular tour de force” —The Forward “A fascinating and enlightening effort that takes full use of the graphic storytelling medium in an insightful and revelatory way.” —The Miami Herald “With a loving eye Pekar and Buhle extract moments and personalities from Yiddish history.” —Hadassah “gorgeous comix-style portraits of Yiddish writers” ––Tablet “Yiddishkeit has managed to survive, if just barely, not because there are individuals dedicated to its survival, though there are, but because Yiddishkeit is an essential part of both the Jewish and the human experience.” —Neal Gabler, author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, from his introduction "The hearty hardcover is a scrumptious smorgasbord of comics, essays, and illustrations, edited by Harvey Pekar and Paul Buhle, providing concentrated tastes, with historical context, of Yiddish theater, literature, characters and culture." —Heeb magazine
A treasury of Jewish comic book art collects the work of such top names as Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, and Art Spiegelman, in a volume that is complemented by pictorial essays that trace the Jewish involvement in comic art.
Many Jewish artists and writers contributed to the creation of popular comics and graphic novels, and in The Quest for Jewish Belief and Identity in the Graphic Novel, Stephen E. Tabachnick takes readers on an engaging tour of graphic novels that explore themes of Jewish identity and belief. The creators of Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), Batman (Bob Kane and Bill Finger), and the Marvel superheroes (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), were Jewish, as was the founding editor of Mad magazine (Harvey Kurtzman). They often adapted Jewish folktales (like the Golem) or religious stories (such as the origin of Moses) for their comics, depicting characters wrestling with supernatural people and events. Likewise, some of the most significant graphic novels by Jews or about Jewish subject matter deal with questions of religious belief and Jewish identity. Their characters wrestle with belief—or nonbelief—in God, as well as with their own relationship to the Jews, the historical role of the Jewish people, the politics of Israel, and other issues related to Jewish identity. In The Quest for Jewish Belief and Identity in the Graphic Novel, Stephen E. Tabachnick delves into the vivid kaleidoscope of Jewish beliefs and identities, ranging from Orthodox belief to complete atheism, and a spectrum of feelings about identification with other Jews. He explores graphic novels at the highest echelon of the genre by more than thirty artists and writers, among them Harvey Pekar (American Splendor), Will Eisner (A Contract with God), Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat), Miriam Katin (We Are On Our Own), Art Spiegelman (Maus), J. T. Waldman (Megillat Esther), Aline Kominsky Crumb (Need More Love), James Sturm (The Golem’s Mighty Swing), Leela Corman (Unterzakhn), Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Waltz with Bashir), David Mairowitz and Robert Crumb’s biography of Kafka, and many more. He also examines the work of a select few non-Jewish artists, such as Robert Crumb and Basil Wolverton, both of whom have created graphic adaptations of parts of the Hebrew Bible. Among the topics he discusses are graphic novel adaptations of the Bible; the Holocaust graphic novel; graphic novels about the Jews in Eastern and Western Europe and Africa, and the American Jewish immigrant experience; graphic novels about the lives of Jewish women; the Israel-centered graphic novel; and the Orthodox graphic novel. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography. No study of Jewish literature and art today can be complete without a survey of the graphic novel, and scholars, students, and graphic novel fans alike will delight in Tabachnick’s guide to this world of thought, sensibility, and artfulness.
This volume gathers an array of voices to tell the stories of Cleveland’s twentieth century Jewish community. Strong and stable after an often turbulent century, the Jews of Cleveland had both deep ties in the region and an evolving and dynamic commitment to Jewish life. The authors present the views and actions of community leaders and everyday Jews who embodied that commitment in their religious participation, educational efforts, philanthropic endeavors, and in their simple desire to live next to each other in the city’s eastern suburbs. The twentieth century saw the move of Cleveland’s Jews out of the center of the city, a move that only served to increase the density of Jewish life. The essays collected here draw heavily on local archival materials and present the area’s Jewish past within the context of American and American Jewish studies.
"Harry Brod situates superheroes within the course of Jewish-American history: they are aliens in a foreign land, like Superman; figures plagued by guilt for abandoning their families, like Spider-Man; and outsiders persecuted for being different, like the X-Men. Brod blends humor and sharp observation as he considers the overt and discreet Jewish characteristics of these well-known figures and explores how their creators integrated their Jewish identities and their creativity."--From publisher description.
Welcome to Woundabout, where routine rules and change is feared. But transformation is in the wind.... In the wake of tragedy, siblings Connor and Cordelia and their pet capybara are sent to the precariously perched town of Woundabout to live with their eccentric aunt. Woundabout is a place where the mayor has declared that routine rules above all, and no one is allowed to as questions--because they should already know the answers. But Connor and Cordelia can't help their curiosity when they discover a mysterious crank that fits into certain parts of the town, and by winding the crank, places are transformed into something beautiful. When the townspeople see this transformation, they don't see beauty--they only see change. And change, the mayor says, is something to fear. With the mayor hot on their trail, can Connor and Cordelia find a way to wind Woundabout back to life?
A controversial and fascinating rewriting of the history of cinema's golden age. Radical Hollywood is the first comprehensive history of the Hollywood Left. From the dawn of sound movies to the early 1950s, Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner trace the political and personal lives of the screenwriters, actors, directors, and producers on the Left and the often decisive impact of their work upon American film's Golden Age. Full of rich anecdotes, biographical detail, and explorations of movies well-known, unjustly forgotten, and delightfully bizarre, the book is "an intelligent, well argued and absorbing examination of how politics and art can make startling and often strange bedfellows" (Publishers Weekly). Featuring an insert of rare film stillsRadical Hollywood relates the story-behind-the-story of films in such genres as crime, women's films, family cinema, war, animation, and, particularly, film noir.
"Shandler takes a wide-ranging look at Yiddish culture, including language learning, literary translation, performance, and material culture. He examines children's books, board games, summer camps, klezmer music, cultural festivals, language clubs, Web sites, cartoons, and collectibles - all touchstones of the meaning of Yiddish as it enters its second millennium. Rather than mourn the language's demise, Adventures in Yiddishland calls for taking an expansive approach to the possibilities for the future of Yiddish. Shandler's conceptualization of postvernacularity sheds important new light on contemporary Jewish culture generally and offers insights into theorizing the relation between language and culture."--BOOK JACKET.
This collection of essays from a special issue of American Quarterly explores the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that religion matters in contemporary public life. Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States offers a groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary conversation between scholars in American studies and religious studies. The contributors explore numerous modes through which religious faith has mobilized political action. They utilize a variety of definitions of politics, ranging from lobbying by religious leaders to the political impact of popular culture. Their work includes the political activities of a very diverse group of religious believers: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. In addition, the book explores the meanings of religion for people who might contest the term—those who are spiritual but not religious, for example, as well as activists who engage symbols of faith and community but who may not necessarily consider themselves members of a specific religion. Several essays also examine the meanings of secular identity, humanist politics, and the complex evocations of civil religion in American life. No other book on religion and politics includes anything like the diversity of religions, ethnicities, and topics that this one does—from Mormon political mobilization to attempts at Americanizing Muslims in the post-9/11 United States, from César Chávez to James Dobson, from interreligious cooperation and conflict over Darfur to the global politics surrounding the category of Hindus and South Asians in the United States.