Speech Impairment and Yiddish Literature, or: On the Obligation to Communicate and the Responsibility to Listen
Keywords:Yiddish, minority languages, social justice, power imbalances, speech-language pathology
This essay presents the reaction of major Yiddish authors to the pathologization and marginalization of their linguistic community. In the late 19th century, as authors and activists were seeking to create a Yiddish modern literature as a vehicle of modern artistic and political expression for the Yiddish speaking masses of Eastern Europe, the language came under attack from political opponents seeking to delegitimize it as a vehicle of national expression and even to delegitimize it as a language at all and to pathologize its speakers. This essay would look at a response to these attacks by three major Yiddish writers, SH. Y. Abramovitsh, I. L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem, a response that did not try to disprove the slanders but rather embraced the languaging and ways of communicating that were pathologized and marginalized. They did that by creating dramatic characters who are marked by perceived speech impediments, characters who were revered by generations of readers as national heroes.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Elazar Elhanan
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
JCSCD is a fully open access journal which does not charge authors fees to publish. All articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA) license. Authors retain their copyright in their work and grant the journal a nonexclusive, irrevocable, and worldwide right to publish and preserve it