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Naming the flowers

Robert Alter, 24 February 1994

A History of the Hebrew Language 
by Angel Sáenz-Badillos, translated by John Elwolde.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £24.95, December 1993, 0 521 43157 3
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Language in Time of Revolution 
by Benjamin Harshav.
California, 234 pp., £19.95, September 1993, 0 520 07958 2
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... of any other language’. The precise nature of that process is studied in illuminating detail by Benjamin Harshav, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at Yale, in Language in Time of Revolution. Harshav’s book is addressed not to specialists alone but also to readers interested in the formation of ...

Tremble for Tomorrow

Jenny Diski: In the Vilna Ghetto, 22 May 2003

The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps 1939-44 
by Herman Kruk, edited by Benjamin Harshav, translated by Barbara Harshav.
Yale, 732 pp., £30, November 2002, 0 300 04494 1
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... for the nation of Eastern European Jewry to survive and continue. As the editor of this volume, Benjamin Harshav, explains, there was a dense network of Jewish activities in Eastern Europe: competing ideologies and political parties, youth movements and sports clubs, literature in several languages, publishing and translations of world literature into ...

Bohemian in Vitebsk

J. Hoberman: Red Chagall, 9 April 2009

Chagall: Love and Exile 
by Jackie Wullschlager.
Allen Lane, 582 pp., £30, October 2008, 978 0 7139 9652 4
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... parents were Hasidim, though Wullschlager overemphasises his traditional upbringing; as Benjamin Harshav stressed in his translations of Chagall’s Yiddish writings, the family’s religious life was rudimentary. However deeply ingrained, Chagall’s Jewish identity was essentially secular. Remarkably, Feiga-Ita managed to get her son into the ...

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