Cover Osteuropa 7/2011

In Osteuropa 7/2011

Non-Conformist Jewish Literature
The Poetics of Resistance and the Rediscovery of Jewry in the Late Soviet Era

Klavdia Smola

Deutsche Fassung


In the 1970s, a dissident Jewish culture came into being in the Soviet Union. It was closely associated with the “awakening” of Jewish historical and cultural memory. The literature of the Soviet Jewish “counter-canon”, which came into being in this unique political and cultural period, embraces both the illegally published texts of Jewish samizdat, as well as works by writers who had already emigrated to Israel. An essential element of the poetics of non-conformist Jewish literature is the alliance between the resistance and the new “Jewishness” of the most highly assimilated Soviet Jews. This literature was a draft alternative to official Soviet culture, which was oriented towards ideological and ethnic homogenization.

(Osteuropa 7/2011, pp. 61–80)