Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl: Yiddish Letter Manuals from Russia and America

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9780253012036: Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl: Yiddish Letter Manuals from Russia and America

"The vibrant world of the brivenshtelers, indispensible Yiddish guides to the art of letter writing for geographically mobile Jews, comes to life in this riveting volume. For the first time, model letters for every occasion from desperate requests for money to advice about romance and jealousy, from excuses about late rents to accusations about having a Christmas tree are accessible in rich detail and variety. Through the window of these long-forgotten manuals, unique for their paradoxical 'fluent banality, ' this new history of Jewish emotions, sentiments, social propriety, and everyday life in Eastern Europe and America blazes a fresh, pioneering trail." ChaeRan Y. Freeze, author of Everyday Jewish Life in Imperial Russia"


"Such factors as a relatively high incidence of literacy and a widely scattered geographical distribution made Yiddish speakers prone to writing letters and, generally, committing to paper aspects of their experience. This book is a magic window into daily lives of people residing in various corners of the globe but sharing a common language and culture, epistolary culture in particular." Gennady Estraikh, New York University, co-editor of 1929: Mapping the Jewish World--Gennady Estraikh, New York University "co-editor of 1929: Mapping the Jewish World ""

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