the tradition of Jewish mysticism, a hostile spirit that possessed
Golem: In the
tradition of Jewish mysticism, an extremely powerful creature
made of rock or clay. It would often remain inert until brought
to life, perhaps by an incantation.
Magic Realism: A
literary form in which seemingly realistic scenes are invaded by fantastic and supernatural events, which, however, are often treated as normal.
A literary movement, centered in Europe but with a strong American
component, that began in the late 19th century and peaked in the
20th century. It was noted for alienated protagonists, conflict
between traditional society and secularism, and increasing experimentation,
Naturalism: A highly realistic
literary form, usually employing stark, straightforward language, often dealing
with working class characters in bleak conditions with a strong element of social
A literary movement that began in the later half of the twentieth
century marked by extreme experimentation, fragmentation, a portrayal
of surface, and references to pop culture.
Shiksa: Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman, often used with a negative, slutty connotation.
Shtetl: A Jewish
village in Eastern Europe generally isolated from the surrounding,
non-Jewish culture. Shtetl life was at its height during
the 19th century.
language of East European Jews prior to the Second World War.
It contained elements of German, Hebrew, Polish, and other languages
and was spoken in several dialects.
It can mean a traditional, often religious, way of life, but in America is often
used to mean a sentimental remnant of Eastern European Jewish culture, for intance
in bagels and cream cheese or klezmer music.
German for "the spirit of the times."