Absinthe: World Literature in Translation
Volume 29: Translating Jewish Multilingualism
Absinthe 29: Translating Jewish Multilingualism showcases the variety of languages and genres in which modern Jewish writers have expressed themselves. Spanning short stories, essays, poetry, and selections from novels, the selection of literary works featured in this issue of Absinthe cuts across distinctions between European and non-European literary traditions and addresses diverse themes, including social class, gender, immigration, religious traditions, love and marriage, and the act of writing itself.
Rather than consider disparate Jewish languages and histories in isolation, we bring them into conversation within an open-ended framework that explores Jewish multilingualism in the modern world. The multilingual narrative of Jewish modernity told through them, in seven languages, spans from the 1880s to the 2020s.
Its wide geographical distribution ranges from Tel Aviv to São Paulo through Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Livorno, Warsaw, Prague, and Chicago. Each text and context exhibits different aspects of the Jewish encounter with the conditions of modern society, exemplifying the ways in which Jewish writing engages and negotiates different cultures and traditions.
The new volume of Absinthe foregrounds the multilingual legacy of Jewish migration and diasporic life that has become ubiquitous in modern Jewish writing, and it is evident in the enriching and disruptive presence of multiple languages and literary traditions in each of these texts. The title of this volume, Translating Jewish Multilingualism, refers both to the English translations of these texts and to the processes of translation, mediation, and hybridization encapsulated in the works themselves.