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[Purim Drama] Joseph Herz
S. B. Gusdorfer
This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Second edition, first revised and enlarged. , 128 pp., octavo, 157:115 mm., nice margins, light age staining, plate. A very good copy bound in modern half marbled paper over boards.
Drama in western Yiddish recounting the biblical story of Queen Esther as recounted in the book of Esther by the playwright Joseph Herz (1776-1828). The author was a German Jewish humorist who wrote the play in 1828. This edition is expanded from previous printings, including at the end a detailed appendix not present in the first edition. The title page is followed by a table of contents, an introduction from Herz, a list of roles, and the play. Herz.s Esther has been the subject of a modern analysis, entitled, “The Language of Herz's Esther: A Study in Judeo-German Dialectology” by Robert M. Copeland with Nathan Susskind (1979). Esther is a clever spoof that is as much about the German Jews of his time as about the characters of the Book of Esther. An example of the first 10 lines of Herz's Purim play, spoken in rhymed verse by Harbona, King Ahasuerus's servant who, sent to fetch Queen Vashti to the king's banquet, reports her refusal to appear, states, in the original and in English translation, Schin fott is di Aruroh: Di hot doch g'hat a Zuroh// Wi ahn oisg'schnittner Karpes. Was taitsch, wi hot mer nit mehr Tharbus? Wen der Mahn saagt: kumme! Darf di Frah nit brumme.Der Melech schikt doi nebich in besten Si soll a bisle naket kumme, un die Gesten Lost'n saagen: wen ich mag. Is gewihs g'stekt in Mazzoh-Taag? A free prose translation of Harbona's lines might be: "That damned woman has gotten away! What a face she had, like a jack-o'-lantern! How come we don't have better manners? When a husband says, 'Come,' a wife shouldn't grumble. The king, poor fellow, sends for her in the best way, [telling her] to come slightly naked, and that charity case tells him, '[I'll do it] when I please.' Does she think she's busy making matzo dough?"
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Kind of Judaica