Page 151 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

Basic HTML Version

RAVID / EISIG SILBERSCHLAG
141
role that it played in the revival of the Hebrew language and
its influence upon the Jewish masses. Perhaps the time was not
ripe un til now for a full-scale application of the type of com­
parative approach which Silberschlag follows in his book. Still,
without the previous studies, Silberschlag’s book could not have
been written. Thus, the monumental six-volume
H is to ry o f M o d ­
ern H e b rew L i te r a tu r e
by Joseph Klausner remains unchallenged
in its accumulation of factual material. One can differ with
Klausner about the beginnings of Hebrew literature, as Silber­
schlag does when he chooses to start his survey with the trends
that developed in the wake of the Spanish exile. Still Klausner’s
pioneering researches into the literature of the Haskalah are of
abiding value.
F rom R ena issan ce to R ena issan ce
is written with enthusiasm
and verve, with skill and wisdom, in a language that often ap­
proximates poetry. One can sense the inner struggle, the close
reasoning and the intellectual excitement which inspired the
author during the writing of this book. Unusual labor and eru­
dition were invested in it and its challenge is great. I t will pre­
vail for many years to come (and we hope it will soon be trans­
lated into Hebrew) as a source of authoritative and cogent crit­
icism. T he first volume has traced the course of Hebrew litera­
ture outside of Israel. We look forward to the appearance of
the second volume, which is to be devoted to the literature of
Palestine and Israel.
I t is difficult to do justice in a short article to as versatile a
poet (and the meaning of this term in Greek is “creator”) as
Silberschlag. Our wishes for him are boundless. We await much
more from his pen. His readers, friends and admirers everywhere
join in communicating their blessings to him:
ad m eah ve-esrim .