Pairing the two concepts of diaspora and modernism, Allison Schachter formulates a novel approach to modernist studies and diasporic cultural production. Diasporic Modernisms illuminates the formal and historical aspects of displaced Jewish writers-including S. Y. Abramovitsh, Yosef Chaim Brenner, Dovid Bergelson, Leah Goldberg, Gabreil Preil, and Kadia Molodowsky-who grappled with statelessness and the uncertain status of Yiddish and Hebrew. Schachter examines how the relationships between migrant writers and dispersed readers were registered in the innovative practices of modernist prose fiction, capturing the aesthetic conditioned by diaspora, spanning from 1894 to 1974. This literary culture developed in the wake of Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires' decline, when Jewish writers and readers immigrated to new centers of modern Jewish culture, including Odessa, Jerusalem, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and New York. Offering the first comparative literary history of Hebrew and Yiddish modernist prose, Diasporic Modernisms argues that these two literary histories can no longer be separated by nationalist and monolingual histories.
Instead, the book illuminates how these two literary languages continue to animate each other, even after the creation of a Jewish state, with Hebrew as its national language.