NORMAN ROTH The Early Origins of the Maqamah: The Hebrew Novella in Medieval Spain to the Early Thirteenth Century

What do we mean by Hebrew literature ? It would seem that the answer should be self-evident . Few would raise the question with respect to French or Spanish or English literature , for example . Yet the definition is not at all clear for Hebrew literature , which is thought by many scholars to include “ everything written in Hebrew during the modern [ or medieval ] period . ” One writer even wants to include everything from rabbinic “ literature” to writings by Jews in other languages as “ Hebrew literature . ” Presumably , Einstein’s scientific writing or the popular novels of Philip Roth are thus to be considered Hebrew literature . While this may be dismissed as reflective of an overly zealous “ nationalistic” interpretation , more serious is the assertion in an important book that scholarly 1 See the article on “ Hebrew Literature” in the Enyclopaedia Judaica 8 : 176 . On non-Hebrew Jewish literature in Spain , see my “ Jewish Literature in Medieval Spain , ” Jewish Book Annual 50 ...  אל הספר
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