Shtetl.
The Image of a Jewish Town in the Pre-War Writings of Adolf Rudnicki Cover Image
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Sztetl. Obraz żydowskiego miasteczka w przedwojennej twórczości Adolfa Rudnickiego
Shtetl. The Image of a Jewish Town in the Pre-War Writings of Adolf Rudnicki

Author(s): Gaweł Janik
Subject(s): Polish Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Adolf Rudnicki; shtetl; Jews; interwar period
Summary/Abstract: The article constitutes an attempt at tracing the presence of Jewishness in the pre-war writings of Adolf Rudnicki. It does so through the analysis of the places in which Rudnicki sets his stories, tracing the changes in the manner in which Rudnicki describes the shtetlekh. Initially described by the author as a dirty, backwards, insular, unfriendly space (The Death of the Operator), those spaces become synonymous with a contagious disease, which infects the bodies of the characters and gradually destroys them from within (Rats). His writings from the second half of the 1930s come with a change of perspective, while the Jewish towns become more fascinating and exotically seductive. They become the bastions of traditional, orthodox Jewish faith, which should be safeguarded from oblivion (Summer). Moreover, the article attempts to define the shtetl as a concept as well as reconstruct the evolution of the shtetl motif in Polish literature, particularly in its new incarnation which appeared in the interwar period.

  • Page Range: 69-98
  • Page Count: 30
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish