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The Ghost of the Child: ‘Dos Kleine Menshele’ (The Little Man) by Mendele Moykher Sforim as an Early Stage of Modern Representation of Jewish Childhood

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This article will point out one decisive station in the process of the artistic formation of the image of the Jewish child and childhood, starting with Mendele Moykher Sforim’s (Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh) first story in Yiddish, ‘The Little Man’ (Dos kleine menshele, 1864-1865). I will argue that the heart of this story harbours an extraordinary and novel (for its time) childhood scene, that blatantly confronts pre-modern perception of childhood with its modern representation, and marks a sharp turn in the status and role of childhood in Jewish literature.

Affiliations: 1: Tel-Aviv University, The Open University of Israel


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