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

By Miryam Segal

With scrupulous consciousness to landmark poetic texts and to academic and severe discourse in early 20th-century Palestine, Miryam Segal strains the emergence of a brand new accessory to switch the Ashkenazic or eu Hebrew accessory in which nearly all glossy Hebrew poetry were composed until eventually the Nineteen Twenties. Segal takes into consideration the large historic, ideological, and political context of this shift, together with the development of a countrywide language, tradition, and literary canon; the an important position of colleges; the impression of Zionism; and the major function performed via ladies poets in introducing the recent accessory. This meticulous and complex but readable learn presents outstanding new insights into the emergence of contemporary Hebrew poetry and the revival of the Hebrew language within the Land of Israel.

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

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It is indeed plausible that Shlonsky’s yearlong exposure to the new accent at a young age made it somewhat easier for him than for others to abandon the Ashkenazic acck cent a decade later. But Hagorni-Green’s narrative does not help us understand why this particular period—a decade after the youthful exposure—would have been the moment at which Shlonsky made the switch. In fact, if one is moved to identify an important moment of Shlonsky’s linguistk tic development, the time he spent at En ±arod when he first arrived as an adult ought to be mentioned as well.

There are, however, important differences between the European paradigm for the devk velopment of a national language and the situation of the Old Yishuv. 15 In a non-nationalist scenario there is little motivatk tion to make one usage replace others even if the differences serve as a pretext for declaring one superior. In the Old Yishuv, the Asheknazic Jews continued to use their own various (Lithuanian, Galician, German) Hebrew pronunciatk tions in prayer and other rituals. When speaking with Sephardic Jews, they would not have adopted a Syrian accent, for example, but would have merely Sephardicized their own Hebrew, using a terminal-stress system and perhaps attk tempting to mimic other features of their interlocutor’s speech.

The moment of indecision, when Hebrew poetry stood between the recent Ashkenazic poetic tradition and the imperative of Hebrew language, may have been partially responsible for the temporary shift to free rhythm. 23 The relationship between speech and poetry meant that the Hebrew poem became a testing ground for national identity in a number of ways. The poetic corpus was charged with the task of configuring and interpellating the reader as a lyric national subject. National identity echoed in the prosodic realm as well; lyric was obliged to produce the sound that would represent the nation.

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