Isaac Babel’s Diary as Ego-Document: An Experimental Approach

Seminar
Series
Seminar on Russian and Eurasian Jewry
Event Status
Open to the Public

Isaac Babel’s 1920 Diary was published in 1990. Since then, critics have mined this texts for hints of Babel’s later short stories, particularly those in Red Cavalry collection, without for the most part pondering the diary as a genre, or diaries as distinct ego-documents. This talk will propose an experimental re-reading of Isaac Babel’s 1920 Diary in line with recent theoretical musings on reading diaries as ego-documents. It will attempt to read this text without external knowledge of the author or his later work, and trace the author's painful musings on his ideology (Bolshevism), on his lapsed religion (Judaism) and on the specific background of Odessa middle- and upper-middle-class Jews in the early years of the 20th century.

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Sponsorship

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University.

Accessibility

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.