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Read e-book online How the Wise Men Got to Chelm: The Life and Times of a PDF

By Ruth von Bernuth

How the clever males received to Chelm is the 1st in-depth examine of Chelm literature and its dating to its literary precursors.  


When God created the realm, so it truly is stated, he despatched out an angel with a bag of silly souls with directions to distribute them both everywhere in the world—one idiot in line with city. however the angel’s bag broke and the entire souls spilled out onto a similar spot. They equipped a payment the place they landed: the city is named Chelm. 

The accumulated stories of those fools, or “wise men,” of Chelm represent the best-known folktale culture of the Jews of jap Europe. this practice incorporates a sprawling repertoire of reports concerning the alleged highbrow obstacles of the contributors of this outdated and critical Jewish group. Chelm didn't make its debut within the position of the silly shtetl par excellence until eventually past due within the 19th century. because then, even though, the city has led a double life—as a true urban in japanese Poland and as an imaginary position onto which questions of Jewish id, neighborhood, and heritage were projected. 

By putting literary Chelm and its “foolish” antecedents in a broader old context, it indicates how they've got functioned for over 300 years as versions of society, someplace among utopia and dystopia. those imaginary silly cities have enabled writers either to entertain and spotlight various societal difficulties, a functionality that literary Chelm maintains to satisfy in Jewish literature to this day.

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How the Wise Men Got to Chelm: The Life and Times of a Yiddish Folk Tradition by Ruth von Bernuth

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