Textual Transmission in Contemporary Jewish Cultures
Jewish culture places a great deal of emphasis on texts and their means of transmission. At various points in Jewish history, the primary mode of transmission has changed in response to political, geographical, technological, and cultural shifts. Contemporary textual transmission in Jewish culture has been influenced by secularization, the return to Hebrew and the emergence of modern Yiddish, and the new centers of Jewish life in the United States and in Israel, as
well as by advancements in print technology and the invention of the Internet. Volume XXXI of Studies in Contemporary Jewry deals with various aspects of textual transmission in Jewish culture in the last two centuries.
Essays in this volume examine old and new kinds of media and their meanings; new modes of transmission in fields such as Jewish music; and the struggle to continue transmitting texts under difficult political circumstances. Two essays analyze textual transmission in the works of giants of modern Jewish literature: S.Y. Agnon, in Hebrew, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, in Yiddish. Other essays discuss paratexts in the East, print cultures in the West, and the organization of knowledge in libraries