Between Two Worlds: Yiddish-German Encounters

What does Yiddish have to do with German? It is a question that has perplexed Jews and Germans alike for centuries. The relationship between the two languages - both originating from a common source and from a common location - has often become a metaphor for the relationship of German and Jewish societies, a relationship whose fraught and complex history is one of the most important in the study not only of Jews, but of modern European history. The two languages and their literary cultures have continued their intimate and mutually nourishing relationship and exchange over the course of a millennium, as is documented even from the earliest substantial corpus of Yiddish texts (ca. 1382), while during the last four centuries the relationship can be seen surprisingly clearly and profoundly in a broad range of texts and genres. A reevalution of this fraught cultural relationship is the focus of the present volume, whose panoramic approach suggests that the study of German culture is essential for those who wish truly to understand Yiddish literary culture - and, even more provocatively, vice versa.