Playing for the "Center:" "Marginal Modernism" in Sh. An-sky's "Der Dybuk" and Zora Neale Hurston's _Polk County_
Jablon, Rachel Leah
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Both Sh. An-sky's "Der Dybuk" and Zora Neale Hurston's _Polk County_ epitomize the concept of "marginal modernism." Marginal literature is literature written by a member of a community that is in some way disenfranchised from the dominant, mainstream society in which the community resides--and in a language other than that which is used by the dominant, mainstream society. It often articulates the needs, desires, values, and nuances of the community. Marginality, in certain ways, is the ultimate indicator of modernism, in that the margin challenges the conventions established by the center, just as modernist literature challenges literary conventions. An-sky's and Hurston's styles, techniques, and goals match those of the modernist movements of their times and locations: An-sky's the Russian revolutions of the early 1900s and Hurston's the African American arts movement of the Harlem Renaissance.