This lecture will explore how first-generation tellers of tales in Eastern Yiddish learned to message their competing truth claims through dialogical means. The competing and contradictory voices within the stories, and the voices mediated by other voices became keys to their narrative poetics. The lecture will begin at the beginning, with Rabbi Nahman of Braslav, the teller of allegorical fairytales; will eavesdrop on the first Yiddish work by S. Y. Abramovitsh, alias Mendele the Bookpeddler. From there, it will proceed to I. L. Peretz, and Sholem Aleichem, who invented the modern Yiddish story, and will conclude by looking ahead to their greatest disciples, Der Nister and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
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