Goldie Morgentaler

Goldie Morgentaler (born 1950) is a Canadian Yiddish-to-English literary translator as well as a professor of English literature. She currently holds a professorship at the University of Lethbridge, where she teaches nineteenth-century British and American literature as well as modern Jewish literature.

Quotes edit

"Bontshe Shvayg in Lethbridge" (2010) edit

included in How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish edited by Ilan Stavans and Josh Lambert

  • Most non-Jews, I have come to realize-and not just my young Albertan students-know little about the history of the Jews. Nor are they necessarily aware of anti-Semitism's roots in Christianity. From Sholem Aleichem to Peretz and beyond, canonical Yiddish literature does not mince words when it comes to identifying the tormentors of Jews as Christians.
  • How does one teach Yiddish literature without teaching something about the history of the countries in which it was created-mainly Poland, Ukraine, Russia-and the history of the Jews in those countries? How does one teach Jewish literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without teaching about anti-Semitism, which was pervasive throughout this region at this time and sanctioned by the government? How many references to the persecution of the Jews in Eastern Europe are too many references? There is no way to avoid the topic of suffering. But how much gloom is too much gloom? How many pogrom stories should one teach? How many novels about the Holocaust?
  • Studying what is specific to one culture is often the first step toward understanding many cultures. And that, finally, is the best reason, I think, for studying literature altogether.
  • In the end it does not matter whether students are Jewish or not Jewish. What matters is that they be sympathetic to another point of view, that they be open to a reality radically different from their own. And it is the function of literature-and of teaching-to bridge the gap between realities.

Quotes about edit

  • Working together on the translation of my books forged a bond between us that is stronger than the bond I have with any other human being, because it is made up of the intimacy that only translation can confer on a writer and her translator, and because it implies a shared creative effort.
    • Chava Rosenfarb "A Yiddish Writer Reflects on Translation" (2005) in "Confessions of a Yiddish Writer and Other Essays" (2019) translated from the Yiddish with Goldie Morgentaler

External links edit

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