PUBLISHING ACTIVITY OF KULTUR-LIGE IN KYIV IN 1918-1931: PHASES AND GENRES

  • Anna Umanska M.S. Hrushevskyi Institute of Ukrainian Archaeography and Source Studies, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 4, Triokhsviatytelska Street, Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5596-0605
Keywords: Kyiv, publishing activity, Yiddish, Kultur-Lige, Jewish education

Abstract

The article covers the introduction of Yiddish publishing activities, initiated by the Jewish civic and cultural-educational organization “Kultur-Lige” in the period from 1918 to 1931. The research analyzes the historical context and preconditions of the organization beginning in the 19th century. Among the main preconditions, the author highlights the rapid modernization of Eastern European Jewry, the proclamation of Yiddish as one of the many national languages at the inter-party conference on Yiddish in Chernivtsi in 1908, and the revolutionary events of the first half of the twentieth century.

In addition, the article encloses the concept of secular Jewish culture proposed by members of the Kultur-Lige and ways of its implementation through printed Yiddish-language products, the main "marketplaces" of Yiddish textbooks, teaching materials, fiction, periodicals. The article analyzes the printed products of the Kultur-Lige, after preliminary structuring and systematization of publications by category: the sources were divided into a layer of textbooks, teaching and learning materials, children's books, and fiction. The authors of the educational books, textbooks, and books for children were usually young Jewish writers and members of the Literature section of Kultur-Lige. The main consumer of such Yiddish books were the educational institutions established by the Kultur-Lige. Specifically, the Jewish public Yiddish schools, public libraries, and reading rooms, as well as Jewish Public University. Educational institutions organized by Kultur-Lige provided education for all categories of the Jewish community. 

The article also includes some information about the book design of Kultur-Lige artists. Among the illustrators was Mark Chagall, Sara Shor, Eliezer Lissitzky, Joseph Chaikov, Mark Epstein, etc. This organization provided unique opportunities to implement their artistic idea in the area of book illustrations. Besides that, the article includes information about the print run of some books and the financial sources of the publishing section

 

Umanska, A. (2021). Publishing Activity of Kultur-Lige in Kyiv in 1918-1931: Phases and Genres. Mìžnarodnì zv’âzki Ukraïni: naukovì pošuki ì znahìdki – The International relations of Ukraine: scientific searches and findings, 30, 405-427 [in Ukrainian].

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Published
2021-11-01