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Language in Time of Revolution$
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Benjamin Harshav

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520079588

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520079588.001.0001

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Tsvi Shats

Tsvi Shats

(p.216) Tsvi Shats
Language in Time of Revolution

Benjamin Harshav

University of California Press

The only language in which genuine classical poetry is created is the language of the working people. When folk poets such as Homer walked around reciting their poetry to the people, their language was the language of the people. However, in the course of generations, the language of the people became raw material also in the hands of those whose situation in society had changed and allowed them to live a more intuitive life. As an expression of their life, they created the second language for themselves: the language of literature. Thus, a certain distance was created between literature and the people; and the real life of the people, the life of the worker, remained without a poetic or expression of artistry. Thus the seed of jealousy and class hatred, that chronic social illness, was born. A cure for these ills can only come if the working people will also be the creating people.

Keywords:   language, classical poetry, folk, poets, Homer, life, literature, expression, artistry

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