Shoshana Olidort - Agency, Deferred: Zelda's Poetics of Piety

Shoshana Olidort
Tue February 16th 2021, 6:00 - 8:00pm PST
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Philosophy and Literature at Stanford

This chapter on the Russian-Israeli poet Zelda Schneerson Mishkovksy (1914-1984) focuses on the poetic construction of religious femininity in a literary tradition dominated by secular male poets. I consider how, from her position on the “wrong” side of multiple barriers—those separating men from women, the married from the unmarried, and mothers from the childless, in Orthodox Jewish life, as well as those that divide the religious and the secular in Israeli society—Zelda invokes Hebrew’s capacity for impersonal constructions and mitigated agency to articulate her own poetic voice and assert a self in the world. 

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