A DISENCHANTED ELIJAH: CONSPIRACY, ALLEGORY, AND THE CRISIS OF EAST EUROPEAN JEWRY IN S. ANSKY'S DESTRUCTION OF GALICIA (1920)
An English-Language Lecture by Professor Marc Caplan
February 23, 2020. Tamari Hall, Lipa Green Building, Toronto.
This program was co-sponsored by the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto
Among the many achievements in the career of the Russian and Yiddish author S. Ansky, his 1920 account of the anti-Jewish pogroms at the border of the Russian and Austrian empires during World War I, Khurbn galitsye ("The Destruction of Galicia"), stands as one of his most complex publications. In this lecture, Dr. Marc Caplan will discuss how Ansky's first-person account deploys numerous literary strategies and embedded narratives that trespass the borders separating conventions of journalism, political propaganda, and fiction. In Khurbn galitsye, Ansky presents himself as a disenchanted Elijah, whose presence signifies the imminent dissolution of the Jewish People in Galicia.
Dr. Marc Caplan is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of Yale University. Since earning his PhD in Comparative Literature from NYU, he has held professorial and research appointments at Indiana University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Jewish History (New York), the University of Michigan, and Yale University. Currently he is a visiting professor in the Taube Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. His next book, Yiddish Writers in Weimar Berlin: A fugitive Modernism, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press this Fall.