Metafora cartii. Perceptia cartii ebraice in comunitatile nord transilvanene. Sec. XIX-XX/ The Metaphor of the Book. The Hebrew Book and Its Perception in the Jewish Communities of North Transylvania. The 19th and 20th Centuries

Maria Radosav


In Jewish tradition, the book as an “exemplaryâ€, the book as an “object†is associated with an attitude of veneration as expressed by Pierre Chaunu in “livre en majeste†– the book in its majesty when referring to the Holy Bible. The content of the book is revealed by its own referentiality enclosed in its text and by its unfolding through reading. On the other hand, the title of the book may suggest the plenitude of its text, a semantic sublimation, an essentialization of the content of the book. This is rendered by means of the metaphor, for metaphor implies a “translation†of significance and senses within syntagmas and word associations that exceed the referential meaning. Therefore, several metaphorical categories may be discerned in the Hebrew book titles. A first category would concentrate symbolic, spectacular, luminiferous values in which light is the main attribute of the book, an attribute made up by superposing the light and the celestial, both defining the Divine: the BOOK as LIGHT. A second category of metaphoric phrasing would incorporate ethical – theological values. The metaphor BOOK as GATE codifies the idea of accessing, of entering in a livresque, bookish universe open to interpretation. The BOOK as PURITY and GRACE, the BOOK as BRIDE, the BOOK as CITADEL, the BOOK as THERAPY, the healing book would enter the same category. The metaphoric repertoire reaches its climax with the BOOK as HOLINESS, a syntagma that induces the semantics of writing as a sacred task. Other significant metaphors included in the Hebrew book titles are: the BOOK as ADORNEMENT, the BOOK as SPLENDOR, etc.


Hebrew book, Metaphor, Symbolic values, Ethical and theological values, Book as holiness, Book as gate, Book as purity and grace, Book as bride, Book as citadel, Book as adornement and splendor

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