Testing the boundaries: migration & metamorphosis in Lev Lunts

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In the early 1920s there were many different ways to be a Russian Jewish writer. Unlike Babel and Mandelstam, Lev Lunts (1900-1924) interrogated his hyphenated identity through humour, parody, fantasy, and satire. Two short stories: “The Homeland” (1922) and “Crossing the Border” (1923) see semi-autobiographical characters occupying the liminal spaces between the Jewish and the Russian, the East and the West, the past and the present. Lunts and his characters are attracted and repelled by the boundaries of genre and taste, demonstrating that literary creativity comes from being in constant motion across border zones, whether by means of migration, metamorphosis or their reversal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-61
JournalJewish Culture and History
Issue number1
Early online date20 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Jewish
  • Russian
  • LIterature
  • Revolution
  • Modernism
  • Identity
  • Antisemitism
  • border
  • gorky
  • lunts
  • kaverin
  • serapion
  • petrograd
  • st petersburg
  • russia
  • zionism
  • babylon
  • science fiction
  • Yiddish
  • hebrew


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