A Rhetorical Conversation: Jewish Discourse in Modern Yiddish Literature

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Penn State Press, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 202 pages
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This book is about Jewish language. The fact that Jews speak and write in distinctive ways is well known. (The journalist Mike Royko called it &“Hebonics.&”) These forms of expression actually draw from many sources and have been employed in popular culture from Henry Roth&’s Call It Sleep to the novels of Saul Bellow to contemporary television. What has received less attention is what allowed these modern forms to flow from a rich body of Yiddish literature. This book fills that gap by exploring the language of modern Yiddish literature, addressing emblematically why Jews answer a question with a question. Through a series of case studies, A Rhetorical Conversation explores various distinctive aspects of Yiddish literature to explain the nature and importance of Jewish discourse: the way of speaking, writing, arguing, and thinking developed by Yiddish culture based on prolonged and intimate contact with traditional texts.

 

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Contents

I
1
II
17
III
31
IV
49
V
81
VI
109
VII
147
VIII
155
IX
183
X
193
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About the author (2010)

Jordan D. Finkin is Cowley Lecturer in Post-Biblical Hebrew at the University of Oxford.

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