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Ibbetson, Ruth (1967) The first Hebrew novel: A critical study and translation of: "Ahavath Ziyyon," by Abraham Mapu. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This first novel written in Hebrew was published in 1853. The Thesis is divided into eight sections. 1) A brief account of such events as affected the Author and some details of the history and geography of that part of eastern Europe where he spent his life; with special reference to the peculiar position of the Jews within the various communities. 2) The biography of the Author tells of the cultural and family influences which shaped his work. 3) This deals with six European writers of romances; with a brief biography of each and a summing up of the general style and layout of the romantic novel and how Ahavath Ziyyon conforms. The other five chapters treat with different aspects of the novel: 4) the actual choice of characters and their names; 5) the setting 6) the plot and themes; 7) the characterisations; 8) the style and language. The Index lists the various headings of the points that are discussed. The numbers in the margin refer to the footnotes; these of each chapter being collected together and inserted at its end. The Hebrew Appendix (H.A.) contains all the Hebrew terms included and is placed at the end of the Thesis. In the Translation literal renderings of the words have been used rather than a paraphrase. The novel's setting is at the time of Isaiah, and the language is a skillful blend of biblical idiom, grammar, and style, taken from the whole Bible. Nevertheless, it helps convey the feeling of an historical background. But, on examination the arguments and ideas are those of the Author's own period. A language assumes distinct styles in different times although each form relates to the others. However, the 17th.century English of the Authorised Version cannot be called biblical English as compared to biblical Hebrew and to translate into such a form would make the work stilted. But, since the writing is based so closely on biblical quotations, a Concordance was used rather than an ordinary Dictionary, and the numbers in the margin refer to two lists of many of these quotes, in both English and Hebrew, included at the end of the Novel.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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