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The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literatureby Ilan Stavans
Synopses & Reviews
The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 gave rise to a series of rich, diverse diasporas that were interconnected through a common vision and joie de vivre. The exodus took these Sephardimto other European countries; to North Africa, Asia Minor, and South America; and, eventually, to the American colonies. In each community new literary and artistic forms grew out of the melding of their Judeo-Spanishlegacy with the cultures of their host countries, and that process has continued to the present day. This multilingual tradition brought with it both opportunities and challenges that will resonate within any contemporaryculture: the status of minorities within the larger society; the tension between a civil, democratic tradition and the anti-Semitism ready to undermine it; and the opposing forces of religion andsecularism.
Ilan Stavans has been described by The Washington Post as Latin America's liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative culturalenthusiast. And the Forward calls him a maverick intellectual whose canonical work has already produced a whole array of marvels that are redefining Jewishness. This newanthology contains fiction, memoirs, essays, and poetry from twenty-eight writers who span more than 150 years. Included are Emma Lazarus's legendary poem The New Colossus, inscribed on thepedestal of the Statue of Liberty; the hypnotizing prose of Greece-born, Switzerland-based Albert Cohen; Nobel-Prize winner Elias Canetti's ruminations on Europe before World War II; AlbertMemmi's identity quest as an Arab Jew in France; Primo Levi's testimony on the Holocaust; and A. B. Yehoshua's epic stories set in Israel today.
When read together, theseexplorations offer an astonishingly incisive collective portrait of the other Jews, Sephardim who long for la Espanntilde;a perdida, their lost ancestral home, even as they create a vibrant, multifaceted literary tradition in exile.
From the Hardcover edition.
Revealing the unique intertwining of multicultural influences with the legacy of exile that marks the Sephardic experience, a collection of fiction, memoirs, essays, and poetry includes works by American poet Emma Lazarus, Bulgarian Nobel laureate Elias Canetti, Italians Natalia Ginsburg and Primo Levi, and other notable writers from around the world. 12,500 first printing.
About the Author
Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Chronology — The Escape. A Tale of 1755 / GRACE AGUILAR — "In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport" — "The New Colossus" — "The Banner of the Jew" / EMMA LAZARUS — "Two Sisters" / YEHUDA BURLA — From Book of My Mother / ALBERT COHEN — "Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement" / VEZA CANETTI — "After the Catastrophe in Salonika" / YEHUDA HAIM AARON HA-COHEN PERAHIA — "Yom Hachoa" / SHLOMO REUVEN — From The Tongue Set Free / ELIAS CANETTI — "The Complaint of Jehuda Abravanel" / EDOUARD RODITI — From The Book of Questions / EDMOND JABES — 'A Plaque on Via Mazzini" / GIORGIO BASSANI — "He and I" / NATALIA GINZBURG — "Shema" — "Story of a Coin" / PRIMO LEVI — From The Pillar of Salt — "What Is an Arab Jew? / ALBERT MEMMI — From Refuge / SAMI MICHAEL — "Israel" / VICTOR PERERA — 'A Tale of Two Cities" / MORIS FARHI — From Garden, Ashes / DANILO KIS — From Mr. Mani / A.B. YEHOSHUA — "The Most Precious Offering" / ANGELINA MUNIZ-HUBERMAN — From Coming to Writing / HELENE CIXOUS — "The Last Seder" / ANDRE ACIMAN — From The Sun at Midday / GINI ALHADEFF — "Ten Ways to Recognize a 'Sephardic Jew-ess'" / RUTH KNAFO SETTON — Never Marry a Man Who Doesn't Beat You" / RUTH BEHAR — The Quill's Embroidery: Untangling a Tradition" / AMMIEL ALCALAY — "Who Is a Jew and What Kind of a Jew?" / SAMI SHALOM CHETRIT — Appendix: The "Other"Jew : From The Moor's Last Sigh / Salman Rushdie.
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