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The Discovery and Publication of Joseph Perl’s Yiddish Writings

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The attitude of Tarnopol satirist Joseph Perl (1773–1839) towards the Yiddish language has been discussed by a number of scholars. In particular, researchers have examined his views with regard to his most well-known satire, Sefer Megaleh temirin, which was printed in Hebrew in Vienna, 1819, with a partial Yiddish translation of the work appearing in Vilna, 1938. However, there remains much to be said concerning the creative process which guided Perl’s writing in Yiddish, as well as the later discovery and publication of his Yiddish works, both of which are chapters in the wider story of the development of Yiddish literature in the first half of the nineteenth century and the increasing scholarly interest in it at the outset of the twentieth century. This article briefly describes these multifaceted matters and then offers suggestions for the future study of Perl’s writing in particular, and maskilic Yiddish literature in general.

Affiliations: 1: Ben Gurion University


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