A New Sound in Hebrew Poetry: Poetics, Politics, Accent by Miryam Segal

By Miryam Segal

With scrupulous cognizance to landmark poetic texts and to academic and serious discourse in early 20th-century Palestine, Miryam Segal lines the emergence of a brand new accessory to switch the Ashkenazic or ecu Hebrew accessory in which just about all smooth Hebrew poetry have been composed until eventually the Twenties. Segal takes into consideration the extensive ancient, ideological, and political context of this shift, together with the development of a countrywide language, tradition, and literary canon; the the most important function of colleges; the effect of Zionism; and the best position performed via girls poets in introducing the recent accessory. This meticulous and complicated but readable examine presents superb new insights into the emergence of recent Hebrew poetry and the revival of the Hebrew language within the Land of Israel.

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Extra info for A New Sound in Hebrew Poetry: Poetics, Politics, Accent (Jewish Literature and Culture)

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Although Ashkenazic Hebrew was dominant in Jewish ritual life, the Hebrew classes in Russia were sometimes taught in their version of a Sephardic accent. This was the case in Bi¿ovski’s education. At the other end of the spectrum were poets who had begun their careers either late in the nineteenth or early in the twentieth century in an Ashkens nazic accent and switched in the 1920s. 45 By the 1930s Ashks kenazic poetry was the exception rather than the rule. 49 The appearance of folk songs in the new accent was a literary phenomenon similar to the publication of new-accent poems for children and poems by women.

By adopting Hebrew as the language of insk struction, schools also blurred the line between Jewish and general studies. In Azaryahu’s history, this loss of differentiation between particular and general knowledge is itself the second defining trait of the Hebrew school in Palestine: This innovation [of instituting Hebrew as the language of instruction] is what facilitated the change in instruction, particularly in the early school years, from the study of words to the study of issues, and is what made it more natural, substantial, and deep.

They therefore beg several central questions: What mechanisms made one accent predominate over the others? How and why did the new accent become the standard for Hebrew speech in Palestine? What about the relationship between poetic and spoken Hebrew in Palestine determined that the former would mimic the latter? How was it that the tides seem to have turned toward new-accent poetry in Palestine precisely during the period of a great influx of Ashkenazic-accented talent? Hebrew as the Language of Instruction, Hebrew as Universal Knowledge The synthesis of a national language and literature is not unique to Hebk brew.

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