Tuwim’s wedge: "survival strategies " of a polish-jewish poet. Tuwim’s approach to the "Jewish question" has already been analyzed by polish and foreign scholars. The present paper is intended to consider some "survival strategies" of the polish poet from a slightly different angle. In Poland between the Two World Wars on the one hand Jewish writers were required to a total polonization and a rejection of their ethnic identity, on the other they were often refused to have a place among the polish artists. Any attempt of highlighting their jewish identity and even the mere fact of interesting in Jewish culture incited brutal Jew-bashings. Tuwim considered being a polish Jew not only as a source of pride, but also as an opportunity for making a self-criticism. He painfully felt the Jewish question as "a powerful wedge cleaving [his own] worldview". Like many other polish-jewish writers, however he masked its enduring presence in his own psyche, constructing his public persona through a process of Self-fashioning. This paper tries to follow the traces of this "wedge" in Tuwim’s works: from poems apparently having nothing to do with jewish problem, to encrypted allusions to the great Yiddish writers, from his relentless questioning of all forms of intolerance and nationalist rethoric, to his his dream that a new poetic language could “reform the world” and become a homeland for all readers from any nationality.
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