The Beginnings of Ladino Literature

The Beginnings of Ladino Literature : Moses Almosnino and His Readers

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Moses Almosnino (1518-1580), arguably the most famous Ottoman Sephardi writer and the only one who was known in Europe to both Jews and Christians, became renowned for his vernacular books that were admired by Ladino readers across many generations. While Almosnino's works were written in a style similar to contemporaneous Castilian, Olga Borovaya makes a strong argument for including them in the corpus of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) literature. Borovaya suggests that the history of Ladino literature begins at least 200 years earlier than previously believed and that Ladino, like most other languages, had more than one functional style. With careful historical work, Borovaya establishes a new framework for thinking about Ladino language and literature and the early history of European print more

Product details

  • Hardback | 332 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 617g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 11 b&w illus.
  • 0253025524
  • 9780253025524

About Olga Borovaya

Olga Borovaya is Visiting Scholar in the Mediterranean Studies Forum at Stanford University. She is author of Modern Ladino Culture: Press, Belles Lettres, and Theater in the Late Ottoman Empire (IUP).show more

Review quote

"Olga Borovaya uncovers previously unacknowledged or misunderstood aspects of the literary, philosophical, and historical underpinnings of early Ladino literature. An impressive and erudite work." -Julia Phillips Cohen, author of Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era "Like the best scholarship, Olga Borovaya's book is quietly revolutionary and serves to open up many new conversations in various fields." -Vincent Barletta, author of Covert Gestures: Crypto-Islamic Literature as Cultural Practice in Early Modern Spainshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Note on Translations, Transcriptions, Titles, and Proper NamesIntroductionPrologue. Jewish Vernacular Culture in Fifteenth-Century Iberia 1. Ladino in the Sixteenth Century: The Emergence of a New Vernacular Literature2. Almosnino's Epistles: A New Genre for a New Audience3. Almosnino's Chronicles: The Ottoman Empire Through the Eyes of Court Jews 4. The First Ladino Travelogue: Almosnino's Treatise on the Extremes of Constantinople 5. Rabbis and Merchants: New Readers, New Educational ProjectsEpilogue. Moses Almosnino, a Renaissance Man?Appendix. The Extremes of ConstantinopleNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

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