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On borrowed words : a memoir of language

Author: Ilan Stavans
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Yiddish, Spanish, Hebrew, and English - at various points in Ilan Stavans's life, each of these has been the prominent and controversial scholar's primary language. His family's immigrant experience took them from Eastern Europe to the Jewish ghetto of Mexico City, which Stavans abandoned for Israel and subsequently the United States. In this rich memoir, the linguistic chameleon outlines his remarkable cultural  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Stavans, Ilan.
On borrowed words.
New York : Viking, 2001
(OCoLC)606549994
Named Person: Ilan Stavans; Ilan Stavans
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ilan Stavans
ISBN: 0670877638 9780670877638
OCLC Number: 45620653
Description: 263 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: Mexico Lindo --
The Rise and Fall of Yiddish --
Under the Spotlight --
On My Brother's Trail --
Amerika, America --
The Lettered Man.
Responsibility: Ilan Stavans.

Abstract:

"Yiddish, Spanish, Hebrew, and English - at various points in Ilan Stavans's life, each of these has been the prominent and controversial scholar's primary language. His family's immigrant experience took them from Eastern Europe to the Jewish ghetto of Mexico City, which Stavans abandoned for Israel and subsequently the United States. In this rich memoir, the linguistic chameleon outlines his remarkable cultural heritage from his birth in politically fragile Mexico, through his years as a student activist, a young Zionist in Israel, a student of theology in New York to his career now as a noted academic and writer." "Since survival has meant borrowing other people's languages and pretending they were his own, Stavans offers a view of his journey from the perspective of words. Along the way, he introduces his remarkable family; his brother, a musical wunderkind; his father, a Mexican soap opera star; his grandmother, who emigrated from Eastern Europe to Mexico in 1929. Masterfully weaving personal reminiscences with a provocative investigation into language acquisition and cultural code-switching. On Borrowed Words is a memorable exploration of Stavans's search for his place in the world."--Jacket.

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