chapter  2
32 Pages

Narrating a Canon

The institutions of American Yiddish culture have been adapted and reinvigorated, creating new contexts for the transmission and performance of Yiddish cultural materials. Changing power relations over the Atlantic Ocean have also realigned the Yiddish musical map: today musicians from Germany and the former Soviet Union now appear alongside their American colleagues as performers, composers and teachers. Likewise, Yiddish poet and songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, born in 1920 in Vienna, and who grew up in Czernowitz, contrasted the enthusiasm of young Yiddish learners with the lack of linguistic immersion available: BSG: The times change so much there are different epochs. Kahn's oppositional ontology offers an alternative approach to the transgenerational spread of Yiddish song: here not a warm family scene, but an ongoing starting point for dissent. Meanwhile, new paradigms of transcommunalism and transnationalism continue to emerge, stretching the imagined boundaries of local' musical practices.