10:30 – Schmooze & Announcements
11:00 – Service
11:30-12:45 – The Extraordinary Voyages of the Yiddish Jules Verne, with Sebastian Schulman
Whether it was on the Lower East Side of New York or in the shtetlekh of Eastern Europe, Yiddish speakers were voracious readers of Jules Verne (1828-1905), the 19th century’s most celebrated author of science fiction. With stories of adventure that crossed borders and investigated new technologies, these books had a direct appeal for Yiddish readers who faced the challenges of industrialization and mass immigration. This presentation will explore how Verne’s Yiddish translators reshaped the writer to fit the norms of Jewish readership, while at the same time using Verne to advance a message of modernization, science, and empire to their supposedly backward and superstitious readers. This lecture will reveal the creation of a distinctly Yiddish “Zhul Vern,” a member of the Jewish literary pantheon who was related to, but somehow very different from his Parisian namesake.
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