From Kabbalah to Class Struggle: Expressionism, Marxism, and Yiddish Literature in the Life and Work of Meir Wiener
From Kabbalah to Class Struggle is an intellectual biography of Meir Wiener (1893–1941), an Austrian Jewish intellectual and a student of Jewish mysticism who emigrated to the Soviet Union in 1926 and reinvented himself as a Marxist scholar and Yiddish writer. His dramatic life story offers a fascinating glimpse into the complexities and controversies of Jewish intellectual and cultural history of pre-war Europe. Wiener made a remarkable career as a Yiddish scholar and writer in the Stalinist Soviet Union and left an unfinished novel about Jewish intellectual bohemia of Weimar Berlin. He was a brilliant intellectual, a controversial thinker, a committed communist, and a great Yiddish scholar—who personally knew Lenin and Rabbi Kook, corresponded with Martin Buber and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and argued with Gershom Scholem and Georg Lukács. His intellectual biography brings Yiddish to the forefront of the intellectual discourse of interwar Europe.
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aesthetic Aksenfeld artistic Berlin Binyomin bourgeois bourgeoisie Buber character communist concept Cracow creativity critical Der Nister early Erna essay Etinger Europe European expression expressionist fiction Folder Viner folklore Franzi genre German Gulviets Gurshteyn Haskalah Hebrew heymland historical Hoeflich Hofshteyn Ibid ideas ideological intellectual Jewish culture Jews JNUL Judaism Kabbalah Kiev Kolev Ashkenazi Kvitko Lagodny language Letter Leyvick Litvakov Lukács Markish Martin Buber Marxist maskilim masses Max Weinreich Meir Wiener memoirs Mendele Mendele’s messianic modern modernist Moscow mystical nationalist Nister novel oriental Oyslender Peretz poem poetic poetry poets Polish political portray proletarian published reality religious revolutionary royte velt Russian satire scholars scholarship Sholem Aleichem shtetl social socialist realism society socio-economic Sovetish Soviet Union Soviet Yiddish spiritual struggle style stylistic symbolic tion tradition Vegn Vienna Weinreich Wiener argues worldview Yiddish culture Yiddish Language Yiddish literary Yiddish literature Yiddish writers Yiddishist YIVO Zionist