Elan's Reviews > Dybbuk and Other Tales of the Supernatural

Dybbuk and Other Tales of the Supernatural by S. Ansky
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's review
Jan 29, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: jew-time, lezzzbehonest-queer-fiction

I believe this edition has both the original play "The Dybbuk," by S. Ansky, as well as Tony Kushner's adaptation of the piece. Both are incredibly rich and important reads, but I wish that Kushner had taken his adaptation further. He goes as far as to (theatrically) articulate and illuminate his queer reading of Ansky's play but he doesn't seem to move beyond commentary. He doesn't create anything new; the adaptation leaves little room for reflection or inspiration. I wonder if Kushner felt pressure to keep what might have otherwise been a scandalous piece liberal, in order to appeal to a certain older Yiddish enthusiast audience. Was it enough for Kushner to merely illuminate; to remind these old Yiddishists and their grandchildren that queerness is not only dawning in contemporary America - but there could have been (and were) queer Jews in the shtetl?
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