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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book discusses that the vernacular literature that fascinated French society fascinated the Jews as well, and puts forward the idea that Rashbam tried to compete with this new intellectual movement, claiming that the literary quality of the biblical texts was at least as good as that of the nascent courtly romances based on the matière de Bretagne, or even on a par with one another. It examines the 'narratives' that modern Jewish studies scholars have constructed in order to explain this exegetical 'enfant terrible' who repeatedly conducted himself disrespectfully in particular towards his grandfather Rashi. Rashbam's commentary has many faces. The chapter traces them in many directions.

Keywords:French society; Jews; Rashbam; Rashi; vernacular literature

10.1163/ej.9789004194564.i-320.2
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004194564.i-320.2
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