Three Thousand Years Of Hebrew Versification: Essays In Comparative Prosody

by Benjamin Harshav

Yale University Press | November 25, 2014 | Hardcover

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In this unparalleled study of the forms of Hebrew poetry, preeminent authority Benjamin Harshav examines Hebrew verse during three millennia of changing historical and cultural contexts. He takes us around the world of the Jewish Diaspora, comparing the changes in Hebrew verse as it came into contact with the Canaanite, Greek, Arabic, Italian, German, Russian, Yiddish, and English poetic forms.
 
Harshav explores the types and constraints of free rhythms, the meanings of sound patterns, the historical and linguistic frameworks that produced the first accentual iambs in English, German, Russian, and Hebrew, and the discovery of these iambs in a Yiddish romance written in Venice in 1508/09. In each chapter, the author presents an innovative analytical theory on a particular poetic domain, drawing on his close study of thousands of Hebrew poems.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 376 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1 in

Published: November 25, 2014

Publisher: Yale University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0300144873

ISBN - 13: 9780300144871

Found in: Literary Theory and Criticism

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Three Thousand Years Of Hebrew Versification: Essays In Comparative Prosody

by Benjamin Harshav

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 376 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1 in

Published: November 25, 2014

Publisher: Yale University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0300144873

ISBN - 13: 9780300144871

About the Book

This unprecedented book on comparative prosody explores the history of Hebrew verse during three millennia of changing cultural and linguistic contexts. Benjamin Harshav offers an innovative approach to the free rhythms of biblical poetry and prose, examines the brilliant invention of rhyme by the Paitan--the earliest rhyme in the Mediterranian world--and the discovery of accentual-syllabic meters, which have since dominated English, German, Russian, and Hebrew poetry for centuries, in a Yiddish romance written in 1508. The book explores the constraints and kinds of modern free rhythms as exemplified in Yiddish poetry.

From the Publisher

In this unparalleled study of the forms of Hebrew poetry, preeminent authority Benjamin Harshav examines Hebrew verse during three millennia of changing historical and cultural contexts. He takes us around the world of the Jewish Diaspora, comparing the changes in Hebrew verse as it came into contact with the Canaanite, Greek, Arabic, Italian, German, Russian, Yiddish, and English poetic forms.
 
Harshav explores the types and constraints of free rhythms, the meanings of sound patterns, the historical and linguistic frameworks that produced the first accentual iambs in English, German, Russian, and Hebrew, and the discovery of these iambs in a Yiddish romance written in Venice in 1508/09. In each chapter, the author presents an innovative analytical theory on a particular poetic domain, drawing on his close study of thousands of Hebrew poems.

About the Author

Benjamin Harshav is professor emeritus of comparative literature and J. & H. Blaustein Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature, Yale University, and professor emeritus of literary theory, Tel Aviv University. He lives in North Haven, CT.

Editorial Reviews

"Benjamin Harshav’s extraordinary book is the best available study of verse form, poetic metrics, and poetic rhythm, admirably applied to the unique wealth of Hebrew poetry.  A rigorous and friendly masterpiece authored by one of the most important contemporary specialists in poetics."—Thomas G. Pavel, Gordon J. Laing Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago
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