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Journal Article

Screw You, Zamenhof

Yiftach Ashkenazi and Translated by Adam Rovner
World Literature Today
Vol. 89, No. 3-4 (May/August 2015), pp. 84-85
DOI: 10.7588/worllitetoda.89.3-4.0084
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Page Count: 2

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Topics: Infants, Synthetic languages, Neighborhoods, Doorbells, Death, Kibbutz, Eyes
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The playful form of “Screw You, Zamenhof” serves as a counterpoint to the violence at the heart of this disturbing story. Numerous invocations of Eliezer Zamenhof and his aspiration to construct a world language emphasize the story's thematic concern with linguistic expression, translation, and the limits of mutual comprehension. The protagonists, a young couple, live their individual lives in translation yet are unable to effectively communicate with each other. “Screw You, Zamenhof” demonstrates how the language we use to narrate our experience conditions our self-understanding and may imperil our sense of reality.

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