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Accessibility, Audience and Ideology: On Editing Old Yiddish Texts

Jerold C. Frakes
The German Quarterly
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Spring, 1986), pp. 187-202
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Association of Teachers of German
DOI: 10.2307/407417
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/407417
Page Count: 16
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Accessibility, Audience and Ideology: On Editing Old Yiddish Texts
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Abstract

The basic goal of textual editing-to render manuscript texts "accessible"-has assumed ideological dimensions in Old Yiddish studies, since "accessibility" has traditionally been measured by most schools of editors in terms of the edited text's degree of conformity to Middle High German (transcribed into Roman, "German" orthography, treatment of "German" literary motifs, etc.). In effect, Old Yiddish language and literature simply disappear in the editorial process. This transformation is symptomatic of larger ideological conflicts in the study of early Ashkenazic culture. Recently some signs of change have appeared in the "Trier School" of Yiddishists, which honestly addresses the ideological problems inherent in the field. More radical steps in this direction are necessary in order to achieve the editorial goal of "accessibility."

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