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Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish

by Dovid Katz
£11.99   paperback  The Perseus Books Group (2007)

Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish by Dovid Katz Words on Fire offers a rich, engaging account of the history and evolution of the Yiddish language.
Drawing on almost thirty years of scholarship, prominent Yiddish scholar Dovid Katz traces the origins of Yiddish back to the Europe of a thousand years ago, and shows how those origins are themselves an uninterrupted continuation of the previous three millennia of Jewish history and culture in the Near East.
Words on Fire narrates the history of the language from medieval times onward, through its development as written literature, particularly for and by Jewish women. In the wake of secularizing and modernizing movements of the nineteenth century, Yiddish rose spectacularly in a few short years from a mass folk idiom to the language of sophisticated modern literature, theater, and journalism.
Although a secular Yiddish culture no longer exists, Katz argues that its resurgence among religious Jewish communities ensures that Yiddish will still be a thriving language in the twenty-first century.
For anyone interested in Jewish history and tradition, Words on Fire will be a definitive account of this remarkable language and the culture that created and sustained it.

ISBN 13: 9780465037308 | ISBN 10: 0465037305

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