Download A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and by Naomi Seidman PDF

By Naomi Seidman

With remarkably unique formulations, Naomi Seidman examines the ways in which Hebrew, the Holy Tongue, and Yiddish, the vernacular language of Ashkenazic Jews, got here to symbolize the masculine and female faces, respectively, of Ashkenazic Jewish tradition. Her subtle heritage is the 1st book-length exploration of the sexual politics underlying the "marriage" of Hebrew and Yiddish, and it has profound implications for figuring out the centrality of language offerings and ideologies within the development of recent Jewish id. Seidman relatively examines this sexual-linguistic procedure because it formed the paintings of 2 bilingual authors, S.Y. Abramovitsh, the "grand-father" of recent Hebrew and Yiddish literature; and Dvora Baron, the 1st sleek girl author in Hebrew (and a author in Yiddish as well). She additionally presents an research of the jobs that Hebrew "masculinity" and Yiddish "femininity" performed within the Hebrew-Yiddish language wars, the divorce that finally ended the wedding among the languages.
Theorists have lengthy debated the position of mom and dad within the child's dating to language. Seidman provides the Ashkenazic case as an illuminating instance of a society within which "mother tongue" and "father tongue" are basically differentiated. Her paintings speaks to big matters in modern scholarship, together with the psychoanalysis of language acquisition, the feminist critique of Zionism, and the nexus of women's stories and Yiddish literary heritage.

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Extra resources for A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society)

Sample text

Ch more associated with the male world, it is also more an acquisition of the male in the family, the father. For women the role of Loshn-koydesh was more marginal, although there were a considerable number of women who also knew Loshn-koydesh. In the case of a boy, his knowledge of Loshn-koydesh grows in direct proportion to his physical development. Before he leaves his mother's domain and is being carried to kheyder, Loshn-koydesh plays a minimal role in his life: the prayer Moyde ani, a few benedictions.

Copyrighted material Engendering Audiences I As Joshua Fishman has commented, Yiddish cartoonists often translated verbal metaphors already circulating in Ashkenazic culture into their pictorial equivalents to create "consensually recognizable figures" to represent the two languages. 35 In the case of the 1926 cartoon, the male and female figures do not conform to any specific metaphors for Hebrew and Yiddish; nevertheless, readers could be counted on to recognize the different gender associations of the rival languages.

While women, in Weinreich's formulation, had accorded Yiddish a permanent if diminished status by virtue of their sanctioned Hebrew illiteracy, now women were the crucial but appare·ntly temporary means by which to reach a wider readership. 19 Women were more free than men not only to read Yiddish as opposed to Hebrew texts but also to read secular rather than religious literature. The different reading habits of men and women in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe are captured in the Yiddish writer Y.

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