Page 125 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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DAVID/A DECADE OF RESEARCH ON MEDIEVAL HEBREW LITERATURE
113
E. Fleischer,
Shirat ha-kodesh ha-ivrit b’yemei ha-beinaim
(Hebrew
liturgical poetry in the middle ages, Jerusalem, Keter, 1975).
This work deals with the history and development of Hebrew
liturgical poetry from its early beginnings in Palestine through
the creative period of the two main European schools — the Se­
phardic and the Italo-Ashkenazic. Careful attention has been
paid to the stages in the development of the various classical
piyyut forms, their relationships to liturgy, their composition and
their later patterns.
The six chapters contain expositions which are illustrated by
selections by piyyutim, some of which have been published from
manuscripts for the first time. The work concludes with a com­
prehensive bibliography and is amply illustrated. It is the first of
its kind in Hebrew.
D. Pagis,
Hiddush u-masoret be-shirat ha-hol
(Change and tradi­
tion in the secular poetry: Spain and Italy, Jerusalem, Keter,
1976).
Described here are the characteristics of Hebrew secular
poetry in its main large center: Moslem Spain, or Andalusia, in
the 10th-12th centuries; Christian Spain and Provence in the
12th-15th centuries; Italy in the 13th-19th centuries and its rela­
tionships to Holland in the 17th-18th centuries, prior to the be­
ginnings of modern Hebrew. The author presents more than a
history; he analyzes the transformation in the genres, language,
styles and forms of the various schools and their varied literary
works.
J. Dan,
Ha-sippur ha-ivri b’yemei ha-beinaim
(The Hebrew story
in the middle ages, Jerusalem, Keter, 1974).
This volume covers the history of Hebrew prose writing from
the beginning of the Geonic age to the end of the Renaissance. It
encompasses a period of approximately a thousand years and
treats various literary genres: messianic aggadah; the aggadot re­
garding the lost ten tribes; the development of the talmudic
story; historical narratives, etc. The author does not deal with the
Hebrew maqama and with the artistic prose writing which arose
in the Middle Ages and persisted as a literary form down to the
close of the renaissance. He presents, however, a panoramic view
of the various types of story writing and describes and evaluates a
wide array of stories and story collections. The volume provides
an introduction to the rich and varied world of Hebrew prose in
the Middle Ages.