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Tanakh and textuality

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Duration: 0:04:52 | Added: 15 Sep 2017
Visiting researcher Dr Rachel Wamsley discusses the renowned Oppenheimer Collection, whose holdings shed light on the printing house as a site of cultural and literary encounter between Jews and Christians in early modern Europe.

Close examination of early printed Yiddish books reveals how the same text could assume radically different material forms depending on whether it was marketed to a Jewish or non-Jewish audience. Setting two editions of an early Yiddish biblical epic side-by-side, Dr. Wamsley notes differences in typography and page-layout, editing and paratext, demonstrating how textual migration, from one cultural context to another, in turn engendered a transformation in the materiality of the book itself. At the same time, this very migration testifies to the surprising porosity of literary boundaries dividing Jewish and Christian communities in early modernity.

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