Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If I Were a Writer: Yiddish Literature and Comics

In my last semester of college, I took a Yiddish Literature and Culture class. We read the classics, watched movies, and listened to Klezmer music. As you all know, I am obsessed with comics, so when I found some with Yiddish themes, I sent them immediately to my teacher. After being inundated with a few emails (each recommending another comic), he wrote me back saying “These will come in handy when I teach my Jewish Graphic Novel course!” To this day I am not sure if he was mocking me or is actually going to teach that class.

So if he WERE going to teach that class, I would want him to include these comics in his Yiddish section:

Klezmer: Tales of the Wild East by Joann Sfar

Lubavich, Ukraine, 1876 by Sammy Harkham (This comic is online, so check it out!)

Market Day by James Strum

I would go back to college to take that class, mark my words.

As a side note, I think The Dybbuk, a play about Jewish mysticism, love, and possession, would be the best graphic novel ever. The darkness of a small shtel, the flashbacks, fast forwards, and history, the ghosts and death! I would just become a writer/artist to translate The Dybbuk to comic form.

Here are some scenes from the movie of The Dybbuk:

The Dance of Death

The whole movie is also online.

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