This medley of Jewish Eastern European tales is based on written and oral sources, blending old and traditional Jewish values with the character and flavor unique to these regions.
Many of the stories included in this book may be considered treasures that have yet to be presented to the Jewish and general public. Some versions of these tales have been published in different anthologies and languages over the years, but many are practically unknown. This selection includes stories from varied oral and written sources, mainly Czech, Slovak, German, and some Yiddish, Polish, and Hungarian.
The reader will encounter a variety of topics that span several centuries. Some are tales of fantasy and imagination while others lean on reality and fact rather than legend. A few are based on contemporary personal events and reminiscences.
Nadia Grosser Nagarajan's selection of some fifty-six legends and three folktales from Eastern European Jewish tradition will delight readers interested in nostalgic Judaica. These twenty-eight Czech, sixteen Polish, thirteen Hungarian, and two Slovak, Jewish narratives so skillfully translated and artfully retold by the author provide a poignant portrait of the plight of Jews whose oppression by despotic rulers was only occasionally relieved by the miracles wrought by famous wise rabbis. From the difficulties of finding a suitable mate to the unwelcome visitations of the Angel of Death, the engaging vignettes of individuals from centuries past show the remarkable consistency of Jewish life. A substantial final annotations section provides helpful information concerning the sources of each narrative, sources which range from Nagarajan's own grandmother, to whose memory the book is dedicated, to earlier major literary collections. More than one third of the narratives were adapted from texts contained in the Israel Folktale Archives located at the University of Haifa. -- Alan Dundes, University of California, Berkeley
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 28th August 1999
Publisher: JASON ARONSON INC
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 16.26 x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.61