David Fram: Lithuanian Yiddish Poet of the South African Diaspora and Illuminating Love

FRANKEL, Hazel (2013). David Fram: Lithuanian Yiddish Poet of the South African Diaspora and Illuminating Love. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis investigates the Yiddish poems of the South African Lithuanian immigrant David Fram. It locates Fram’s poetry and aesthetics in the context of Yiddish poetry in general and Lithuanian-South African Yiddish literature in particular. In doing this it identifies and investigates Fram’s main poetic themes, Diaspora, the memory of home and the condition of exile; landscape and people, nature and creator; his response to the Holocaust suggesting poetry is a legitimate means of expressing trauma. The thesis also deliberates on the potential relevance of taking Fram’s biography and personal experiences into consideration when interpreting his poetry. It reflects on the approach to and process of writing both this thesis and the novel Illuminating Love, considering how thesis and novel relate to each other and to Fram’s poetry, as well as to the notion of postmemory. Indicating the antecedents of Illuminating Love, the thesis discusses aspects of realism and postmodernism, genre and mixed genre, as well as development of voice, point of view and character in my novel. In conclusion, suggestions are made for future projects that might be undertaken to revitalise the vibrant language of Yiddish and memorialise its community. The appendix contains translations (following transliteration) of Fram’s poems. The creative component of the thesis is the novel Illuminating Love. Its narrative entwines the journeys of two Jewish women, Judith, forced to leave her home in Lithuania, Eastern Europe before World War II, and Cally her granddaughter living in contemporary South Africa. Transcribing Judith’s poems in calligraphy, Cally uncovers her family’s history and roots. The content of the love sampler she inscribes for her husband Jake, and the illuminating of a ketuba (the Jewish marriage contract) serve to counterpoint her personal circumstances. Behind the gilding lies the reality of domestic violence, Judith’s escape from the genocide and Jake’s experiences in the bush during the South African Border War.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: David Fram; Yiddish poetry; Lithuania; Holocaust; South African Yiddish; South African Yiddish Poetry; Jewish Diaspora; South African Jewish Diaspora; memory; trauma; biography; postmemory; genre; mixed genre, realism, Illuminating Love; calligraphy; illumination; ketuba; domestic violence; genocide; World War II; Border War; Bush War.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2013 14:44
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 15:30
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4914

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