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Yiddish book production in Amsterdam Between 1650–1800: Local and international aspects

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Chapter Summary

The current paradigm governing the historiography of Yiddish literature in the early modern period emphasizes the wide range of book production in the city of Amsterdam, while dismissing a substantial local contribution to its contents. Ashkenazi culture was based on a set of beliefs and cultural manifestations that developed in Europe at large and responded to the specific demands of a nation in diaspora, and it was subsequently reworked within each particular location where Jews arrived and stayed, and turned into a local brand of Judaism. The bulk of texts in manuscript form and books show the division of interest between local (chronicles describing local Amsterdam events) and international stories, both historical and contemporary, Jewish and non-Jewish, between books that were destined for local consumption and others that found their way into the Ashkenazi diaspora.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Ashkenazi culture; Judaism; Yiddish literature



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