ספר משלים: The Yiddish Fable Collection of Reb Moshe Wallich

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Wayne State University Press, 1994 - Social Science - 305 pages
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Book of Fables is a bilingual edition of Sefer Mesholim, an important collection of fables that was published in Yiddish in 1695. Occupying a significant and interesting place in Yiddish literary history, Sefer Mesholim provides valuable insight regarding the development of Yiddish language and literature and offers an unusual perspective on the cultural and social life of contemporary

European Jewry.

Now, almost three hundred years after its original publication, Eli Katz has translated the thirty-four fables of Sefer Mesholim, derived principally from the Aesopic canon, and from both medieval Hebrew and German sources. The fables themselves were first adapted for a Yiddish reading audience in 1597 in Verona, Italy, and in the adaptation

acquired a distinctively Ashkenazic Jewish flavor with much local Italian-Jewish vocabulary and coloration.

To place this particular book of traditional tales in context with its time and culture, Katz discusses the early development of Yiddish literature in European publishing. His extensive appendices and critical apparatus

document his decisions as a translator and the peculiarities of the early edition, detailing the interesting ways in which Moses Wallich modified the original collection for his audience of a century later.

This comprehensive volume presents 115 reproductions of the original pages with handsome, intricate woodcut illustrations opposite the translation of the text. By providing Yiddish text as it appeared hundreds of years ago, Katz facilitates access by scholars in the fields of Yiddish language, literature, and folklore, and areas of more general Jewish social history.

 

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Book of fables: the Yiddish fable collection of Reb Moshe Wallich, Frankfurt am Main, 1697

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The Safer Meshalim (also known as the Kuhbuch) has been the most popular collection of Yiddish fables in Europe since it was first published in the late 17th century. Although a German translation ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
7
Text and Translation
19
Modernization
259
Appendix
265
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Eli Katz, Professor Emeritus of Euro-American Studies and Linguistics at Sonoma Valley State University in California, received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the translator of I. L. Peretz: Selected Stores Bilingual Edition.

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