Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ezra Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195112030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 June 2019

Language as Fate: Reflections on Jewish Literature in America

Language as Fate: Reflections on Jewish Literature in America

Chapter:
(p.129) Language as Fate: Reflections on Jewish Literature in America
Source:
Studies in Contemporary Jewry: XII: Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts
Author(s):

Ezra Mendelsohn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112030.003.0007

This chapter discusses the fate of Yiddish in America which points to an essential difference between Jewish experience in the new country and the old. It further discusses that Yiddish was the European Jewish vernacular, created in about the 12th century to express and safeguard a distinctive Jewish way of life in the midst of surrounding peoples, in contrast to Jews in America which created no language of their own, and almost without exception, no Jewish writer born there ever wrote in a Jewish language. It further notes that some American Yiddish writers who were T. S. Eliot's contemporaries came to understand language as the repository of religious, cultural, and political Jewish values. These writers realized that since the vitality of a language depends on the survival of its speakers, any threat to Yiddish threatened their own future.

Keywords:   Yiddish, America, European Jewish vernacular, 12th century, Jews, American Yiddish writers, T. S. Eliot, language

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .