Monday, January 6, 2014

Looking Back at the Language Wars

Aharon Megged’s Foiglman takes a long look back at the debates between the Hebraists and Yiddishists from the early days of the twentieth century, in the novel and character of Foiglman.  Am agingYiddish poet and Holocaust survivor, Megged uses Foiglman’s particular dilemma of a poet writing in a dying language to highlight the drama of the wrenching internal change in Jewish identity in modern times.

This is also a novel about people meeting and seemingly connecting on some deeper level, but actually not.  It is a sad commentary on the loneliness of the human experience.  Abiding connections are difficult.  And all relationships have dark, ulterior motives.  Sadness creeps around every corner.

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