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Posts under tag: Vidal Benvenist

September 17, 2013

Wacks writes on medieval marriage gone wrong

Associate Professor of Spanish David Wacks published an essay titled “Vidal Benvenist’s Efer ve-Dinah Between Hebrew and Romance” in A Sea of Languages: Rethinking the Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, edited by Suzanne Conklin Akbari and Karla Mallette (University of Toronto Press, 2013). [publisher’s
 page]

The essay centers on a comic novella written in Hebrew by an author from Zaragoza, Spain, at the turn of the fifteenth century. Benvenist’s tale narrates the ill-fated marriage between the rich and elderly Efer and his underage bride Dinah turns disastrous, ending in Efer’s accidental overdose of an aphrodisiac.

In the article Wacks argues that although the author writes in Hebrew and argues against the assimilation (and conversion to Christianity) of the Jewish communities of Spain, he draws heavily on the literary techniques and folkloric materials common to both Jewish and Christian authors of his times.



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