The Languages of Paradise: Aryans and Semites, a Match Made in Heaven

Other Press, 1992 - 213 Seiten
Michel Foucault observed that "the birth of philology attracted far less notice in the Western mind than did the birth of biology or political economy." In this penetrating exploration of the origin of the discipline, Maurice Olender shows that philology left an indelible mark on Western visions of history, and contributed directly to some of the most horrifying ideologies of the twentieth century.

"A riveting book about a difficult but important subject. Olender plunges into the scientific roots of modern racial myths with verve, wit, and remarkable erudition, producing both a dense, powerful monograph in the history of philology and a fascinating essay on the roots of twentieth-century errors and horrors."
–Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

"The Languages of Paradise is heavenly to read. What languages did the first humans speak? Maurice Olender traces the answers of major scholars to that question from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, showing how rival claims for Hebrew and Sanskrit connect with fundamental ideas about race and culture. Rarely have the intricacies of comparative philology been made so accessible to the common reader as in Maurice Olender's fluid prose, given sparkling translation by Arthur Goldhammer."
–Natalie Zemon Davis, Princeton University

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Über den Autor (1992)

Maurice Olender is a Professor of the History of Religions at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where he alos serves as Maitre de Conferences. He is the Editor of the journal Le Genre Humain and Director of the series La Librairie du XXIeme Siecle (Seuil, Paris).

Arthur Goldhammer is the celebrated translator who has received, among much praise, the prestigious French-American Translation Prize for his work on A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

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