Page 138 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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JEW ISH BOOK ANNUAL
o f each work, this novelist challenges, subverts and responds to
trad ition — cultural and ideological trends as well as literary con­
ventions. Bergelson’s innovations were, in the ir time, as con tro ­
versial as those o f his predecessors, the n ine teen th-cen tury
founders o f the Yiddish novel. From a con temporary
perspective, the intricate interplay between the creative u rge o f
the individual and the persistent dem ands o f the cultural collect­
ive constitutes a brilliant facet o f Bergelson’s artistry, one which
serves to illuminate his own writing as well as the literary and cul­
tu ra l tradition with which he lived and struggled.