Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, Aug 15, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 416 pages
0 Reviews
Music from a Speeding Train explores the uniquely Jewish space created by Jewish authors working within the limitations of the Soviet cultural system. It situates Russian- and Yiddish- language authors in the same literary universe—one in which modernism, revolution, socialist realism, violence, and catastrophe join traditional Jewish texts to provide the framework for literary creativity. These writers represented, attacked, reformed, and mourned Jewish life in the pre-revolutionary shtetl as they created new forms of Jewish culture. The book emphasizes the Soviet Jewish response to World War II and the Nazi destruction of the Jews, disputing the claim that Jews in Soviet Russia did not and could not react to the killings of Jews. It reveals a largely unknown body of Jewish literature beginning as early as 1942 that responds to the mass killings. By exploring works through the early twenty-first century, the book reveals a complex, emotionally rich, and intensely vibrant Soviet Jewish culture that persisted beyond Stalinist oppression.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Stillbirth of Revolution
Socialist Construction the Luftmentsh and the New
Fighting the Great Patriotic
Responding to the Destruction of the Jews
Jewish Spaces and RetroShtetls
Translating Empire
Works Cited

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Harriet Murav is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of Identity Theft: The Jew in Imperial Russia and the Case of Avraam Uri Kovner (Stanford, 2003) and Holy Foolishness: Dostoevsky's Novels & the Poetics of Cultural Critique (Stanford, 1992).

Bibliographic information