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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13Focusing on the Holocaust and its Aftermath$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774600

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.001.0001

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Chapter:
(p.425) Book Reviews
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13
Author(s):

Joseph Perl

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.003.0037

This chapter evaluates Joseph Perl's work on hasidism, Megaleh temirin (Revealer of Secrets: The First Hebrew Novel, 1997). Megaleh temirin is an epistolary novel that parodied the hasidic books and idiom of the early nineteenth century. As the reader gradually becomes aware, the letters of the hasidic protagonists reveal at least two interrelated plots: (1) the effort to locate and destroy the bukh, and (2) the quixotic attempts of the followers of two rival hasidic groups to champion one rebbe over the other. The very richness of Megaleh temirin has probably discouraged previous scholars from translating it into English, but on this score Dov Taylor has done an admirable job at making this volume, under the title Revealer of Secrets, accessible to the modern reader of English. In order to convey a sense of the faulty written Hebrew of the hasidic protagonists, Taylor has translated their letters into the somewhat ungrammatical English of Jews whose mother tongue is Yiddish or Polish.

Keywords:   Joseph Perl, hasidism, epistolary novel, hasidic books, hasidic idiom, Hebrew

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