McGill Conversation | Yiddish Spoken: The Yiddish Writers of Quebec

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 17:00to19:30
McLennan Library Building Rare Books and Special Collections, McLennan Library Building 4th floor, 3459 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C9, CA
cover of Im sheki'at ha-hamah: shirim, 1900-1906 (At sunset: poems) (Varshah: Tushiyah, 1906).
Sebastian Schulman
Alberto Manguel

What is lost in translation?

Join Alberto Manguel and guests Esther Frank and Sebastian Schulman for an exploration of Montreal’s Yiddish literary culture today. They will guide us through the treasures of Joe Fishstein’s remarkable Yiddish collection.

During the early twentieth century, Bronx garment worker Joe Fishstein collected some 2300 works in Yiddish. Mostly poetry, Fishstein fashioned beautiful hand-made jackets to preserve his unique collection in vintage condition.

Come, listen, and explore! Kumt, hert, un lernt zikh!

Doors open for a light reception at 5 PM.


This event is presented in collaboration with the Friends of the McGill Library 

Esther Frank teaches in the Department of Jewish Studies at McGill University in the areas of Yiddish and Jewish Literature in the modern period. Her recent focus has been on poetry published by Twentieth-century Yiddish poets writing in Europe and North America during the inter-war years and later. This has encouraged her to take up the invitation to put together a Bio critical edition of the works of Rokhl Korn, (1898-1982). This project has stimulated extensive research of texts produced by Yiddish and Jewish Canadian authors, raised an interest in examining womens' poetry, highlighted attention to problems of translation from Yiddish to English, and prompted the publication of articles to make Rokhl Korn better known.

Sebastian Schulman is the Executive Director of KlezKanada, one of the world's leading organizations in Yiddish culture and Jewish music. He has taught Jewish history, Yiddish culture, and literary translation at Smith College, Hampshire College, and the Yiddish Book Center. His writing and translations from Yiddish and Esperanto have appeared in Words Without Borders, Tupelo Quarterly, Forward, and elsewhere. Schulman's translation of Spomenka Stimec’s Esperanto-language novel Croatian War Nocturnal was published by Phoneme Media in 2017.

Alberto Manguel is an Argentinian-Canadian writer, translator, editor and critic, born in Buenos Aires in 1948. He has published several novels, and non-fiction, including Packing My Library, Curiosity, With Borges, A History of Reading, The Library at Night and (together with Gianni Guadalupi) The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. He has received numerous international awards, among others the Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters from France, the Formentor Prize and the Alfonso Reyes Prize in 2017, and the Gutenberg Prize 2018. He is doctor honoris causa of the universities of Ottawa and York in Canada, and Liège in Belgium and Anglo Ruskin in Cambridge, UK. Until August of 2018 he was the director of the National Library of Argentina.

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