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Kinds of Genre in Haskalah Literature: Types and Topics (review)

Kinds of Genre in Haskalah Literature: Types and Topics (review) given text can be explained without reference to the main hypothesis as easily as through such reference, if exceptions in fact as well as in portrayal are acknowledged to have taken place, then it appears that the hypothesis has no predictive or explanatory power. Professor Kalmin's scruples may well have done him in. Was all his labor then for naught? Not really, and herein lies the real value of the book. The main hypothesis really is plausible, and it makes a welcome contribution to our increasingly sophisticated picture of "the world of the Sages." The problem is not in Professor Kalmin's method but in the nature of his materials, and he must not be held responsible for that. Historical certainty in the study of ancient rabbinic Judaism is rarely attainable. Every text is overdetennined, anything one encounters can be explained in more than one way, while few possible explanations can ever be decisively eliminated. With respect to style, perhaps more forthright assertiveness would have done no hann; with respect to substance, however, Professor Kalmin has given his readers the best they could hope for. We his readers are in his debt. Robert Goldenberg State University of New York http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hebrew Studies National Association of Professors of Hebrew

Kinds of Genre in Haskalah Literature: Types and Topics (review)

Hebrew Studies , Volume 41 (1) – Oct 5, 2000

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Publisher
National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Professors of Hebrew
ISSN
2158-1681
Publisher site
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Abstract

given text can be explained without reference to the main hypothesis as easily as through such reference, if exceptions in fact as well as in portrayal are acknowledged to have taken place, then it appears that the hypothesis has no predictive or explanatory power. Professor Kalmin's scruples may well have done him in. Was all his labor then for naught? Not really, and herein lies the real value of the book. The main hypothesis really is plausible, and it makes a welcome contribution to our increasingly sophisticated picture of "the world of the Sages." The problem is not in Professor Kalmin's method but in the nature of his materials, and he must not be held responsible for that. Historical certainty in the study of ancient rabbinic Judaism is rarely attainable. Every text is overdetennined, anything one encounters can be explained in more than one way, while few possible explanations can ever be decisively eliminated. With respect to style, perhaps more forthright assertiveness would have done no hann; with respect to substance, however, Professor Kalmin has given his readers the best they could hope for. We his readers are in his debt. Robert Goldenberg State University of New York

Journal

Hebrew StudiesNational Association of Professors of Hebrew

Published: Oct 5, 2000

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