In Search of a Lost Ladino: Letter to Antonio Sauro

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Ibis Editions, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 119 pages
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Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Ladino and introduced by Raphael Rubinstein. This poignant and richly textured memoir was originally written in Judeo-Spanish, the language of the Jews of the Ottoman Empire and of Marcel Cohen's own childhood; it was later translated by the author himself into French. The book (which appears in this edition both in English and the Ladino original) is, writes Cohen, "more or less what my mind retains of the five centuries that my ancestors spent in Turkey." A haunting journey into personal and collective memory, it is also a meditation on a dying language and in fact a dying way of life—that of the Sephardic Jews of Salonica, Istanbul, and other points east. IN SEARCH OF A LOST LADINO includes a thoughtful introductory essay, "Three Degrees of Exile," by translator Raphael Rubinstein, as well series of ink drawings by the well-known Spanish painter to whom Cohen addresses his letter.

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User Review  - wandering_star - LibraryThing

This brief memoir is in large part an elegy to the Ladino language, mourning its decline and coming death and celebrating what the language brings - childhood memories for the author, and an ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Born in the Paris suburb of Asnières in 1937, Marcel Cohen is the author of many books of short narrative prose in French. Several of his works have been translated into English, including IN SEARCH OF A LOST LADINO, MIRRORS, and THE PEACOCK EMPEROR MOTH. He has also published a collection of interviews with Edmond Jabès, From the Desert to the Book . In 2002 the Académie Française awarded Cohen the Prix Roland de Jouvenel. He lives in Paris.

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