Building a City
Writings on Agnon's Buczacz in Memory of Alan Mintz
The fiction of Nobel Laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon is the foundation of the array of scholarly essays as seen through the career of Alan Mintz, visionary scholar and professor of Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Mintz introduced Agnon's posthumously published Ir Umeloah (A City in Its Fullness)—a series of linked stories set in the 17th century and focused on Agnon's hometown, Buczacz, a town in what is currently western Ukraine—to an English reading audience, and argued that Agnon's unique treatment of Buczacz in A City in its Fullness, navigating the sometimes tenuous boundary of the modernist and the mythical, was a full-throated, self-conscious literary response to the Holocaust. This collection of essay is an extension of a memorial dedicated to Mintz's memory (who died suddenly in 2017) which combines selections of Alan's work from the beginning, middle and end of his career, with autobiographical tributes from older and younger scholars alike. The scholarly essays dealing with Agnon and Buczacz is an effort to remember the career of Alan Mintz and his contribution to the world of Jewish studies and within the world of Jewish communal life.
About the Authors
Sheila Jelen, Zantker Professor in Jewish Literature, Culture, and History is an associate professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Jelen has published a variety of monographs and edited volumes including, most recently, Salvage Poetics: Post-Holocaust American Jewish Folk Ethnographies. Wendy Zierler is Sigmund Falk Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR in New York. She is the author of Movies and Midrash: Popular Film and Jewish Religious Conversation.
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