Translation after the Shoah: Towards an Epistemic Recovery of the Jewish Poetic Archive

LE STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal, 2022, 6, 34-38

Cynthia Gabbay 1, 2

1 REMELICE laboratory, University of Orléans, France
2 LE STUDIUM Institute for Advanced Studies, 45000 Orléans, France


This project pursued a comparative examination of the Judeo-Spanish, French and Spanish translations of the lament Dos lid funem oysgehargetn Yidishn folk, written in the antechamber of Auschwitz by the Polish poet Yitzhak Katzenelson (1886-1944).
The study focused on the poetic forms and language of these translations, and offered a sociocultural perspective devoted to analyzing their role in the unearthing, symbolic as well as physical, of the Jewish voice and its reincorporation into the contemporary polyglot Jewish poetic archive. The research explored the intercultural and inter-historical relations that these translations produce, especially in the case of the Judeo-Spanish one and the glottopolitical role it plays when translating between endangered Jewish languages (Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish).
New knowledge was produced on the definition and practice of Jewish translation, its material culture and cultural transmission at the turn of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century. Also, light was shed on the epistemic recovery of the Jewish poetic archive through contemporary performances of memory making. In conclusion, this research proposed to recognize Jewish translation within the genre of postmemory.


Katzenelson; Poetry of the Shoah; Jewish Translation; Yiddish; Romance Languages; Judeo-Spanish; Epistemicide; Postmemory
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Le STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal