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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The color purple and the Hebrew language

Alice Walker's The Color Purple has already been translated into Hebrew. More on that at the end of this post.

Daniel Greenfield thinks we'd be better off without The Color Purple in Hebrew, so he's happy that Alice Walker has refused to 'let' her Pulitzer Prize winning novel be translated into Hebrew. In fact, if it was up to Daniel, a few more anti-Semites - including some Jewish ones - would refuse to allow their books to be rendered in the Hebrew language.
Alice Walker has joined fellow Hamas flotilla writers, Henning Mankell and Iain Banks in boycotting the Hebrew language and banning their books from being translated into the 4,000-year-old Zionist language. This move has gotten more attention, because, unlike Henning Mankell and Iain Banks, people have actually heard of Walker, if only because they were forced to read her in school.

As punishments go, preventing Israelis from reading The Color Purple seems more like a blessing than a curse. If only Amos Oz and David Grossman could be similarly convinced to follow through on their politics and begin boycotting the Hebrew language, the national IQ would be better for it.

Walker, Mankell and Banks (possibly the world's worst law firm) have every right to pick up their placards and boycott one of the world's oldest languages. When Wagner directed the work of Jewish composers, he reportedly immediately discarded the gloves that he wore during the onerous task. Perhaps Walker and the Gaza gang could do likewise, allowing the translation only so long as the laptop and printers that actually transform their words into the cursed Hebraic are swiftly thrown out afterward.

"We have to explain to ourselves the involuntary repellence possessed for us by the nature and personality of the Jews," Wagner wrote in "Das Judenthum in der Musik", "so as to vindicate that instinctive dislike which we plainly recognize as stronger and more overpowering than our conscious zeal to rid ourselves thereof."

Gaza is one of the ways that leftectuals like Walker, Banks and Mankell explain to themselves and their audiences that "involuntary repellence" that emanates for them from the Hebrew language, but not from Chinese, Turkish or Urdu. As committed progressives they may have to practice a conscious zeal to rid themselves of it, but the need of the left to express its Judeophobia is always stronger than its ability to control it.
Read the whole thing.

I said at the beginning of this post that Alice Walker's The Color Purple had already been translated into Hebrew. You can find out more about that here.

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