Czech

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

R.U.R. : Rossum's Universal Robots
Karel Čapek (9 January 1890 – 25 December 1938) was a Czech writer of the early 20th century. He had multiple roles throughout his career, including playwright, dramatist, essayist, publisher, literary reviewer, photographer and art critic. Nonetheless, he is best known for his science fiction including his novel War with the Newts and the play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which introduced the word “robot” for the first time in the English language.[1] He also wrote many politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. Largely influenced by American pragmatic liberalism, he campaigned in favor of free expression and utterly despised the rise of both fascism and communism in Europe.

A funny and surreal story of servitude and technology, R.U.R. was Čapek’s first major work for the stage. The play is a gloriously dystopic science-fiction fantasy about robots and the brave new world of the men who mass-produce them. Robots multiply, are bought and sold and gradually take over every aspect of human existence. As people grow idle and stop procreating, the robots rebel and destroy almost the entire human race. The play was first performed in Prague in 1921.

UC Berkeley professor Ellen Langer describes the novel and the title as follows, “The word robot was derived from the Czech robota, which means “forced labor” like the French word corvée. The play was an instant hit in Europe and was acclaimed in the United States, perhaps because it captured the terror of those times. World War I had barely ended when the Bolshevik Revolution made Europeans fear an uprising by factory workers. To Čapek, an impassioned democrat, the dictatorship of the proletariat seemed as abhorrent as the recently overthrown Austro-Hungarian autocracy. R.U.R. expressed an idealistic yearning that mass production would free people from want, but realism cautioned that industrialization could also usher in an even more powerful tyranny.

The play seems preachy by current standards, but, as Langer says, “this was an era of polemical plays.” It caused such an intellectual stir in London that Čapek sought to explain its message in an essay published in 1923: “We are in the grip of industrialism; this terrible machinery must not stop, for if it does it would destroy the lives of thousands. It must, on the contrary, go on faster and faster, even though in the process it destroys thousands and thousands of other lives . . .  A product of the human brain has at last escaped from the control of human hands. This is the comedy of science.” Thus was born a term that promised either service or subjugation, and, over time, robots migrated from fictional characters to functional creations.[2]

The history of teaching Czech at UC Berkeley is closely tied to the history of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Currently, each year, Dr. Langer offers courses in Basic and Continuing Czech. Besides, the language teaching Professor John Connelly of the Department of History specializes in the Modern East and Central European Political and Social History and History of Catholicism. His groundbreaking research on the history of education came to fruition in his critically acclaimed book Captive University: The Sovietization of East German, Czech, and Polish Higher Education, 1945-1956.

Contribution by Liladhar Pendse
Librarian for East European and Central Asian Studies, Doe Library

Sources consulted:

  1. Čapek, Karel, Peter Majer, and Cathy Porter. R.U.R. [London] : Bloomsbury, [2015], 2015. .
  2. Abate, Tom. “The Robots Among Us.”  SFGate, 9 Dec. 2007.

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
R.U.R (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti)
Title in English: R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)
Author: Čapek, Karel, 1890-1938.
Imprint: V Praze: Vydalo Aventinum, 1920.
Edition: unknown
Language: Czech
Language Family: Indo-European, Slavic
Source: The Internet Archive (University of Toronto)
URL: https://archive.org/stream/rurrossumsuniver00apekuoft#page/n0/mode/2up

Other digital editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

  • There many original Czech editions and English translations in OskiCat.

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Korean

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

 First volume of  Lady Heygyŏng’s Handyung mannok (Asami Collection, UC Berkeley Library)

This manuscript consists of four autobiographical narratives written by Lady Hyegyŏnggung Hong Ssi, an 18th-century Korean noblewoman. Considered both a literary masterpiece and an invaluable historical document, the memoirs were translated into English by JaHyun Kim Haboush with the title The Memoirs of Lady Heygyŏng (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

A story is told through personal anecdotes, written between 1795 and 1805, of Lady Heygyŏng’s life in the palace and about tragic happenings to members of her family. She was married to the crown prince of King Yŏngjo (1694-1776; reigned in 1744-1776). In the summer of 1762, her husband and apparent heir to the throne was falsely accused of plotting against Lady Heygyŏng’s father, and was placed in a sealed rice chest in which he suffocated. Soon after this tragedy, King Yŏngjo regretted his harshness and gave his daughter Hong Ssi the title of Royal Consort Hyegyŏnggung.

Historical and modern linguists classify Korean as a language isolate with linguistic roots in Manchuria. Prior to 1433/34 when King Sejon of the Chŏsun Dynasty invented the remarkable alphabet known to southerners as hangŭl and to northerners as chŏsongŭl, all writing in Korea was done in the Chinese script.[1] In the 17th century, it evolved into modern Korean, with considerable phonological differences from Middle Korean.[2] Rather than being composed in literary Chinese as were most writings by men before the modern era, Lady Heygyŏng’s memoirs were composed in Korean, in han’gŭl script, making them accessible to the modern reader.

As the official language of both South and North Korea, Korean is the native language of more than 77 million people worldwide.[3] The Library’s Korean holdings exceed 102,000 volumes. Outstanding among these are the 4,000+ volumes of the Asami library, assembled by Asami Rintarō in the early decades of the 20th century and purchased by the Library thirty years later.[4] In 1942, UC Berkeley became the first university in the country to offer instruction in Korean, which continues to be taught for all academic levels in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Contribution by Jaeyong Chang
Librarian for the Korean Collections, C.V. Starr East Asian Library

Sources consulted:

  1. Garry, Jane, and Carl R. G. Rubino. Facts About the World’s Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Major Languages, Past and Present. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2001.
  2. Dalby, Andrew. Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
  3. Ethnologue, https://www.ethnologue.com/language/kor
  4. UC Berkeley Center for Korean Studies

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
한중만록 (Handyung mannok)  
Title in English: Memoirs Written in Silence
Author: Hyegyŏnggung Hong Ssi (1735-1815)
Imprint:  Korea : [s.n., 18–?]
Edition: 1st
Language: Korean
Language Family: Koreanic
Source: The Internet Archive (UC Berkeley)
URL: https://archive.org/details/handyungmannokkw01asam

Print editions at Berkeley:

Handyung Mannok: Kwŏn 1-6. Korea: publisher not identified, 1800. East Asian Rare ASAMI 22.29 1-6

The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyŏng: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea. Translated into English by JaHyun K. Haboush. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Also available as an ebook.

 

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Icelandic

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Icelandic literature after the Reformation was primarily the domain of poetry until the mid-19th century. Following a small number of unpublished collections of short stories and folk tales and several published prose translations into Icelandic in the 18th century, currents of European influence encouraged the sustained development of literary prose, at first short stories, which in some cases also drew upon local saga and folkloric traditions. Credit for the first Icelandic novel is generally given to Jón Thóroddsen (1818-1868) for his 1850 work Piltur og Stúlka (Lad and Lass). As scholar and statesman Jón Sigurðsson would write in his introduction to a posthumous edition (1876) of Thóroddsen’s second, unfinished novel Maður og Kona (Man and Woman), “Various attempts have been made in our country before this to compose works of fiction similar to those which had appeared in foreign lands in modern times, which are called in English ‘novels,’ because they draw their material from modern everyday life, and not from ancient events or historical writings, as do the knightly romances; but this story of Thóroddsen’s [Piltur og Stúlka] is the most important of all these tales, and is hence universally conceded to be the first Icelandic novel [translation from Reeves’ 1890 edition of Lad and Lass].”

Born in western Iceland, Thóroddsen traveled to Copenhagen to study law, where he also pursued literary interests as co-creator and editor of a liberal arts annual to which he contributed his own poetry and several short texts (in addition to briefly joining the Danish army in its fight against rebellious Germans). During the winter of 1848-9 he wrote Piltur og Stúlka, which was published in Copenhagen in 1850 (a second edition was published in Reykjavik in 1867). Although indebted to the English romantic love story, this tale of the complicated love between Indriði and Sigríður, which begins and ends in the countryside and includes a journey to Reykjavik at its middle, is highly localized in its descriptions of contemporary Icelandic society. Thóroddsen was a keen observer of character, and his readers were especially drawn to the comic traits with which he endowed some of them.  Other aspects of description as well as narrative reveal the influence of the Icelandic sagas. In 1850 Thóroddsen returned to Iceland, where he worked as a bailiff, and nearly completed his second novel before his death in 1868. Piltur og Stúlka has been published in a number of subsequent editions, translated into four languages, and was adapted for the stage in Iceland in 1933. The UC Berkeley Library owns the 1973 reprint of the 1948 edition, which was published in Reykjavik.

The Modern Icelandic language has been taught at the introductory level in UC Berkeley’s Scandinavian Department since 2015, when a pilot program was launched with the assistance of the Institute of European Studies.

Contribution by Jeremy Ott
Classics and Germanic Studies Librarian, Doe Library

 

Title: Piltur og Stúlka : Dálítil Frásaga
Title in English: Lad and Lass
Author: Jón Thóroddsen, 1818-1868.
Imprint: Kaupmannahöfn : S.L. Möller, 1850.
Edition: 1st
Language: Icelandic
Language Family: Indo-European, Germanic
Source: The Internet Archive (National and University Library of Iceland)
URL: https://archive.org/details/Pilturogstulkada000209560v0JonReyk/page/n6

Other digital editions:

Print editions at Berkeley:

Piltur og stúlka: dálítil frásaga. Reykjavík: Helgafell, 1973. Reprint of the 1948 edition.

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Tibetan

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long is a famous historical work by Sakyapa Sonam Gyaltsen (1312-1375). The text presents Tibetan history such as the origins of the Tibetans, how dharma arrived in Tibet, when Lhasa became the main capital and the Jokhang and Ramoche temples were built. Sakyapa Sonam Gyaltsen was a ruler of Sakya which had a preeminent position in Tibet under the Yuan dynasty. He is considered the greatest Sakya scholar of the 14th century and served as ruler for a short term from 1344 to 1347.

According to McComas Taylor who authored the English translation, “It ranks among the great works of early Tibetan historiographical writing, but outshines all others in both the depth and breadth of its coverage. . . The text is a rich blend of history, legend, poetry, adventure and romance. It may properly be regarded as a literary work, albeit a morally and spiritually uplifting one.”  He writes further: “This text has been known by several names. The original Tibetan title, and the one that is most widely recognized, is Clear Mirror on Royal Genealogy, although in the final paragraph the author himself calls the work Clear Mirror on the History of the Dharma. The first wood-block edition was printed at the Tsuglagkhang in 1478 and is therefore known as the Lhasa redaction.”

Ever since China annexed Tibet as a province in 1951, the Tibetan language has been proscribed in schools in favor of Mandarin.[1] Tibetan Buddhism and its literature are thus at present maintained by a worldwide diaspora, drawing some strength from Tibetan communities of the southern Himalaya beyond the Chinese border.[2] There are numerous (and mutually unintelligible dialects) of modern spoken Tibetan, and the study of these dialects — essential for the study of cultural practices such as pilgrimage — is becoming an area of research at several institutions, including UC Berkeley.[3] This historical text has been translated into Mongolian, German, and Chinese, and various sections have appeared in Italian and Russian.

Contribution by Susan Xue
Head, Information and Public Services &
Electronic Resources Librarian, C.V. Starr East Asian Library

Sources consulted:

  1. Garry, Jane, and Carl R. G. Rubino. Facts About the World’s Languages: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Major Languages, Past and Present. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2001.
  2. May, Stephen. Language and Minority Rights: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Politics of Language. New York: Routledge, 2012.
  3. Institute for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
Rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long
Title in English: Clear Mirror on Royal Genealogy
Author: Bsod-nams-rgyal-mtshan, Sakyapa Sonan Gyaltsen, 1312-1375.
Imprint: Pe cin: mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2002.
Edition: Par gzhi 1
Language: Tibetan
Language Family: Sino-Tibetan
Source: Buddhist Digital Resource Center
URL: https://www.tbrc.org/#!rid=W00KG09730

Print editions at Berkeley:

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Catalan

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

“I don’t want you to confine my thinking to facts and agreed formulas; I do want, like birds, the liberated wings to fly at any time, now to the right, now to the left, through the space full of infinite and invisible routes; I do not want extraneous nuisances, harmful limits that impose me a path beforehand. I want to be entirely master of myself and not a slave of alien forces, insofar as human, are miserable and failing.” – Víctor Català (Caterina Albert), Insubmissió (1947)

(Trans. A. B. Redondo-Campillos)

Víctor Català was a Catalan modernist literature novelist, storyteller, playwright, and poet. But Víctor Català was also Caterina Albert i Paradís (L’Escala, Girona, 1869–1966), an extraordinary talented woman writer forced to write under a male pen name. Caterina Albert decided to make herself known as Víctor Català after the publication of the monologue La infanticida (The Infanticide), for which Albert not only received the first prize in the 1898 Jocs Florals literary contest, but also an enormous backlash after the jury knew that the author was a woman. Amid the Catalan intellectual and bourgeois society of the late 19th century, Caterina Albert questions maternity as the main purpose of womanhood in the most dramatic and violent way. Víctor Català/Caterina Albert was probably the first unconscious feminist of Catalan literature.

In her magnum opus, Solitut (1905) or Solitud, first a serialized novel in the literary magazine Joventut and published later as a book, the writer follows the spiritual and life journey of Mila, a woman that moves to a remote rural environment, with a practically absent husband. In an extremely rough landscape — where the mountain becomes another character in the novel and part of Mila herself — she encounters her own sensuality, the guilt provoked by her sexual desire towards a shepherd, the unspeakable brutality of the few people living around her, and the absolute solitude. Far from being weakened because of all of these factors, Mila finds the necessary strength to get by and, finally, makes a life-changing decision.

It is 1905 and Caterina Albert depicts through Mila in Solitud the overly harsh women’s situation in a male rural society. Its novelty lies in that the writer provides the main character with the determination to overcome her disgrace. Mila transgresses the patriarchy system and takes control of her own life, and Caterina Albert transgresses the rules of a male literary society and writes whatever she wants to write. With Solitud the recognition of Víctor Català as a brilliant writer was unanimous: “the most sensational event ever seen in modern Catalan literature” in the words of critic Manuel de Montoliu (introduction to Víctor Català’s Obres Completes, Barcelona: Selecta, 1951).

Despite her success, Caterina Albert was considered a threat to the Noucentisme literary movement, due to her opposition to the group’s ideological agenda. After the publication of Solitud, Víctor Català published her second and last novel, Un film (3.000 metres) in 1926 and rather sporadically, some collections of short stories up to 1944. The author retired from the literary activity and died in her hometown, L’Escala, after having decided to spend the last 10 years of her life in bed.

Contribution by Ana-Belén Redondo-Campillos
Lecturer, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Title: Solitut
Title in English: Solitude
Author: Víctor Català (pseudonym for Caterina Albert i Paradís), 1869-1966
Imprint: Barcelona : Biblioteca Joventut, 1909.
Edition: 3rd edition
Language: Catalan
Language Family: Indo-European, Romance
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (University of Michigan)
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015029495648

Print editions at Berkeley: 

  • Serialized edition published across eight issues in April 2015 in Joventut: periódich catalanista: literatura, arts, ciencias. Barcelona : [publisher not identified], 1900-1906.
  • Solitud. Barcelona : Edicions 62, 1979.
  • Solitud. 1oth ed. Barcelona: Edicions de la Magrana, 1996.
  • Solitud. 20th ed. Barcelona : Selecta, 1980. valoració crítica per Manuel de Montoliu.
  • Solitude: A Novel. Columbia, La: Readers International, 1992. translated from the Catalan with a preface by David H. Rosenthal.

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Medieval Hebrew

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

First page with text in hebrew, latin, and arabic.
First page of De idololatria liber with text in Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic.

Dionysus Vossius’s Latin translation of Maimonides’s Laws of Idolatry, first published in 1642, is self-evidently the product of many cultures. On some pages, you can find four different alphabets: Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, and Greek. Yet the text itself aims to protect the singular, true religion from all other pretenders. A paradoxical work of cosmopolitan xenophobia, this version of “Laws of Idolatry” sheds light on the contradictions and complexities of 17th-century Christian Hebraism, and it places a canonical Jewish text in a surprising, unfamiliar context.

Maimonides had long been a favorite among Christians (“the only Jew to desist from talking nonsense,” as the scholar Joseph Scaliger wrote), and his philosophical masterpiece, The Guide to the Perplexed was translated to Latin in the thirteenth century. But his law codes remained more obscure. Only after Christian knowledge of and interest in Hebrew exploded in the sixteenth century did scholars begin mining them — for philological tidbits, interpretations of scripture, and mythographic lore. That’s because while the Laws of Idolatry mainly contains practical restrictions on Jewish interactions with idolaters, it also contains Maimonides’ capsule history of various forms of idolatry. This history and typology proved immensely important in a nascent scholarly discipline, what we would call today the comparative history of religion.

Dionysus Vossius, a Dutchman, was probably inspired to translate and annotate Maimonides by the great English scholar John Selden. Selden had used Maimonides to write De Diis Syriis, a comprehensive treatment of the pagan gods which heavily influenced John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Dionysus’s father Gerardus Vossius, himself a great scholar and friend of the Dutch jurist and historian Hugo Grotius, took Dionysus to England, where he met Selden and studied. Dionysus was a precocious scholar (he wrote an Arabic dictionary at sixteen), but he died at 21, and the Laws of Idolatry is consequently bound with his father’s complete works.

I am drawn to this volume by its incredible synthesis of religions and cultures: the English, Dutch, and Continental European republic of letters; the text’s many learned languages; the mixed Christian, Jewish, and pagan histories. To be sure, the combination is not without tension. The famous passage in which Maimonides proclaimed Christians idolaters (9:4) is of course absent here, as even in Hebrew it was a favorite target for Christian censors. And indeed, Vossius’s translation was itself banned, placed on the Catholic Church’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1717. Yet there is a remarkable irony in this most avowedly parochial of books becoming a source of wisdom for Christian scholars. This odd jumble of languages, prejudices, agendas and mistakes is a little glimpse of early modern globalization; its yellowed pages contain a world that is shockingly interconnected, mixed-up, and vibrant.

Contribution by Raphael Magarik
PhD Student, Department of English

Title: De idololatria liber
Title in English: The Laws of Idolatry
Author: Maimonides, Moses, 1135-1204; Latin translation and notes by Dionysius Vossius
Imprint: Amsterdam: Joan Blaeu, 1668.
Edition: uncertain
Language: Medieval Hebrew
Language Family: Afro-Asiatic, Northwest Semitic
Source: Google Books (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma)
URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=sZ4PtQEACAAJ&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Print editions at Berkeley: 

Maimonides, Moses, and Dionysius Vossius. De idololatria liber. Amsterdami: apud Ioannem Blaev, 1668. Bancroft Folio f BL200.V6 D3 1668 v.2

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Danish

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Danish
Title page of second edition published in 1849.

Although he had previously written a handful of articles, a book length review of a Hans Christian Andersen novel, and a magister dissertation on irony, the Danish philosopher, theologian and litterateur Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) considered Enten – Eller (Either/Or) to be the first work of his authorship proper. Under the pseudonym Victor Eremita, Kierkegaard published the two-volume novel with C. A. Reitzel in 1843. Kierkegaard published under pseudonyms so that the reader would not turn to him as an authority on how to interpret and live out the works. Henriette Wulff wrote from Copenhagen to H. C. Andersen in Germany, “Recently a book was published here with the title Either/Or! It is supposed to be quite strange, the first part full of Don Juanism, skepticism, et cetera, and the second part toned down and conciliating, ending with a sermon that is said to be quite excellent. The whole book has attracted much attention.”[1] By the standards of the small Danish book market, it sold well, and went into a second edition in 1849. The second edition is of especial interest because archival evidence indicates that Kierkegaard gave a gift copy of it to H. C. Andersen. This gesture can be seen as a rapprochement, since Kierkegaard’s 1838 review of Andersen’s Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler) was quite scathing. Previously, Andersen had tried to show that there were no hard feelings by gifting Kierkegaard a copy of his Nye Eventyr (New fairytales), but Kierkegaard made no reply.  Unfortunately, Andersen’s copy of the second edition of Enten – Eller is believed to be no longer extant. (In 2001, Niels Lillelund published a Nordic Noir novel entitled Den amerikanske samler [The American collector], which follows a bookstore owner’s pursuit of this priceless item.)

Enten – Eller has been translated into English, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, as well as into a number of other languages. In addition to having online access to the second edition, the UC Berkeley Library has a hardcopy of the fourth edition in its holdings.

Danish is spoken by roughly six million people around the world. The Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley regularly offers courses in both the Danish language and in Danish literature in translation. The Danish language is taught by Senior Lecturer Karen Møller, and Danish literature is taught by Professor Karin Sanders. In the fall of 2018, Scandinavian 180, “The Works, Context, and Legacy of Søren Kierkegaard” introduced a group of students to Kierkegaard, the Danish Golden Age, and the author’s influence on twentieth-century philosophy and world literature. The course was taught by the author of this essay.

Contribution by Troy Smith
PhD Student, Department of Scandinavian

Sources consulted:

  1. Quoted in Joakim Garff, Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography, trans. Bruce H. Kirmmse (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), 216–17.

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
Enten – Eller
Title in English: Either/Or
Author: Victor Eremita, pseudonym for Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855)
Imprint: Kjøbenhavn, C.A. Reitzel, 1849.
Edition: 2nd edition
Language: Danish
Language Family: Indo-European, Germanic
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (University of Minnesota)
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951d02153608j

Print editions at Berkeley: Enten – eller. Et livs-fragment, udg. af Victor Eremita [pseud.]. 4. udg. Kjøbenhavn, C. A. Reitzel, 1878.

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Armenian

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Armenian
Shahan Shanur’s Retreat Without Song (left) and  a collection of poems by Hovhannes Tʻumanyan (right)

At the request of the Librarian for the Armenian Studies, Liladhar Pendse, we are posting this entry on April 22nd in the memory of the victims of Armenian Genocide. The 24th of April is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The resilience of the Armenian nation, language and culture exemplify a human desire to overcome destruction and create literary monuments.

Armenian scholar and official at the court of King Vramshapuh, Mesrop Mashtots (Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց) invented the Armenian alphabet in 405 CE. Today, Western Armenian is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Eastern Armenian. Until the early 20th century, various Western Armenian dialects were spoken in the Ottoman Empire, especially in the eastern regions of the empire historically populated by Armenians and which are known as Western Armenia. Western Armenian language is also spoken in France and in the diaspora of Armenians in the United States. On the other hand, Eastern Armenian is spoken in Armenia, Artsakh, Republic of Georgia, and in the Armenian community in Iran. The two Armenian standards together form a pluricentric language. Nevertheless, only Western Armenian is considered one of the endangered languages by the UNESCO.

In the late 1980s, a group of Bay Area Armenian-American visionaries decided to introduce the concept of Armenian Studies at one of the most renowned universities in the world — the University of California, Berkeley. Within a few years, under the leadership of the UC Berkeley Armenian Alumni, and thanks to the remarkable mobilization of the community and generosity of major donors, the William Saroyan Visiting Professorship in Modern Armenian Studies was established. Later the Krouzian Endowment, established in 1996, would provide this position with significant additional support. In the fall of 1998, the William Saroyan Visiting Professorship became a full-time position.

Professor Stephan Astourian was appointed Executive Director of the Armenian Studies Program and Assistant Adjunct Professor of History in July 2002. The William Saroyan position was no longer dependent on temporary appointments. Professor Astourian began to build the foundation of a full-fledged academic program focused on contemporary Armenian history, politics, language, and culture. The program now offers Armenian history Armenian that is further enriched by visiting scholars, academic conferences, symposia, and public speaking engagements organized or delivered by Professors Astourian and Douzjian.

Shahan Shahnur’s Retreat Without Song was serialized in the Paris daily Haraj (Onward) before it was published as a novel in 1929. Set in Paris, the novel traces a tempestuous love story that provokes an identity crisis in the main character. While the interethnic romance between an Armenian man and a French woman drives the novel’s plot, its setting and characterization foreground the challenges Armenians faced after their exile from Istanbul, in the aftermath of the genocide. Upon publication, the novel enjoyed immediate success among readers; however, conservative critics, appalled by its violation of cultural taboos, labeled it pornographic. Today, precisely for its provocative treatment of religious values, romance, and diasporic life, Retreat Without Song rightfully occupies a place among the foundational texts of modern Western Armenian literature.

Hovhannes Tumanyan’s artful Eastern Armenian verse, unanimously loved by readers for over a century, presents cultural wisdom and a witty, critical perspective on socio-political dynamics. This collection includes two narrative poems that inspired operas: the tragic love story depicted in Anush served as the libretto for Armen Tigranyan’s homonymous opera whereas The Capture of  Fort Temuk, a historical tale of political intrigue, was the basis for Alexander Spendiaryan’s Almast. Also notable in this collection, David of Sasun is based on the third cycle of the Armenian epic Daredevils of Sasun. A remarkable piece of literature, this epic circulated orally for almost a millennium until its first transcription in 1873, which in turn paved the way for studies and transcriptions of additional variants. Tumanyan’s verse adaptation of this epic, first published in 1904 and still widely read, bespeaks the poet’s mastery of folkloric style.

Contribution by Stephan Astourian & Myrna Douzjian
Faculty, 
Armenian Studies Program
Liladhar Pendse, Librarian for Armenian Studies, Doe Library

Title: Nahanjě aṛantsʻ ergi
Title in English: Retreat Without Song
Author: Shahnur, Shahan, 1903-1974
Imprint: Serialized for the daily newspaper Haraj =Haratch (Paris: Imp. Araxes, 1925-?).
Edition: Unknown
Language: Eastern Armenian
Language Family: Indo-European, Armenian
Source: Digital Library of Armenian Literature
URL: http://www.digilib.am/book/882/Երկեր%20թիւ

Print editions in Library:

Title: Banasteghtsutʻiwnner
Title in English: Selected Poems
Author: Tʻumanyan, Hovhannes, 1869-1923
Imprint: Kostandnupolis : Tpagrutʻiwn K. Kʻēshishean Ordi, 1922.
Edition: 1st edition 
Language: Eastern Armenian
Language Family: Indo-European, Armenian
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (UCLA)
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.l0081024747

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Japanese

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Japanese
Hand-written leaf from Kabukigeki no hozon ni tsuite. UC Berkeley Library (accession number: JMS 1474, East Asian Rare)

Shōyō wrote the manuscript “On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama” in late March 1924 at the request of Yamamoto Yūzō, the editor of Engeki shinchō, and the essay was published in the journal in June of that year. In his essay, Shōyō addresses what had become for him, by the 1920s, a seminal problem: kabuki was treated as a single art (like nō theater) but, Shōyō felt, the dramatic form had changed significantly over time, from its origins in the early seventeenth century through the early twentieth century. Thus before one could address how to preserve kabuki one needed to determine which aspects of the dramatic art ought be persevered as most representative. Shōyō’s own stance was clear: the “zenith” of the art was in the late eighteenth century and what followed — from the early 19th century onward — was a gradual decay. Thus preservation was perhaps not the right word since what Shōyō sought was really to revive the form of kabuki that had disappeared already over a century earlier.

Shōyō had developed an interest in questions related to the preservation (hozon) of kabuki in the late 1880s and it would remain a concern across his career as playwright, critic, and historian of drama.  And yet the timing of “On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama” is also interesting from a historical perspective. The piece was written just six months after the Great Kantō Earthquake destroyed large sections of the city of Tokyo and many writers — Akutagawa Ryūnosuke chief among them—lamented the loss of cultural heritage that resulted from the earthquake and resulting fires. When the earthquake hit on September 1, 1923, Shōyō was at Waseda University in a meeting with Takata Sanae, the University’s president, discussing an exhibition of theater material that was to be held in October. Within days of the earthquake, Shōyō had decided to donate his own private collection of books and theater ephemera to Waseda, the university at which he had taught his entire career. In 1928, with the help of students, friends, and the university, Shōyō was able to realize his long-term goal of creating a theater museum on the campus of Waseda University. The Museum was intended “preserve, as a form of history, Japan’s theater which is incomparable in form in the world and which has developed along a unique path.” Thus while Shōyō may not have achieved his idea of preserving kabuki of the late eighteenth century as a living dramatic art, today the Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum plays a critical role in preserving the history of kabuki through an unparalleled collection of archival materials.

Contribution by Toshie Marra & Jonathan Zwicker
Librarian for Japanese Collection, C. V. Starr East Asian Library
Associate  Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

 

Title: Kabukigeki no hozon ni tsuite  歌舞伎劇の保存に就いて
Title in English: On the Preservation of Kabuki Drama
Author: Tsubouchi, Shōyō 坪内逍遥, 1859-1935
Imprint: Atami, Japan, 1924. 14 leaves. Hand-written manuscript. From UC Berkeley Library (accession number: JMS 1474, East Asian Rare)
Language: Japanese
Language Family: Japonic
Source: The Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures (DH-JAC) at Ritsumeikan University
URL: http://www.dh-jac.net/db1/books/results1024.php?f1=UCB-ms1474&f12=1&enter=berkeley&max=1&skip=2&enter=berkeley

Other related print editions at Berkeley and online:

  1. Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum: https://www.waseda.jp/enpaku/en/
  2. Tsubouchi, Shōyō, 1859-1935. Tōsei shosei katagi: ichidoku santan 当世書生気質: 一読三歎 . [The Characters of Today’s Students]. Tokyo: Banseidō, 1885-1886. 17 volumes. Digital images made available by the National Diet Library: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/887427 (v. 1)
  3. Author’s original sketch of the illustration for this work is made available by Waseda University Library:

    Note: UC Berkeley has later editions of this work for use at the East Asian Library (EAL):

  4. Tsubouchi, Shōyō, 1859-1935. Shōsetsu shinzui 小説神髄. [The Essence of the Novel]. Tokyo: Shōgetsudō, 1887. 2 volumes. Digital images made available by the National Diet Library: http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/987668
    Note:
    UC Berkeley’s copy available for use at EAL: http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b10214836~S

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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Burmese

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Decorative cloth binding (left) and title page (right).

The prelude on the title page, written in the classic four-syllable rhyme scheme, declares the subject matter as “The royal lineage that flourished from the House of Shakya [Buddha’s ancestry], reaching Myanmar (Burma), beginning with the kingdoms of Bagan (Pagan) and Sagaing … up to the founding of the fourth capital and palace, Yadana Pura… Royal counselor and minister U Phyaw summarized it and composed it, in a verse form to please the reader’s ears.”

As the poem opens, the author says, “Starting from the 11th [in the line], King Thammata, up to the Lord and Queen who founded the fourth capital, Yadana Pura, I shall reveal [the matters of] the monarchs, queens, courtesans, sons, daughters, and kinsmen, in a poem.”

The text reflects the spelling and grammar conventions of a different era, markedly different from contemporary specimens. This feature makes the book a tangible piece of evidence for the metamorphosis of the Burmese language, a valuable source for language and literature research.

The Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies (SSEAS) at UC Berkeley offers programs of both undergraduate and graduate instruction and research in the languages and civilizations of South and Southeast Asia from the most ancient period to the present. Instruction includes intensive training in several of the major languages of the area including Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, Khmer, Indonesian (Malay), Pali, Prakrit, Punjabi, Sanskrit (including Buddhist Sanskrit), Filipino (Tagalog), Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese, and specialized training in the areas of literature, philosophy and religion, and general cross-disciplinary studies of the civilizations of South and Southeast Asia.[1] Outside of SSEAS where beginning through intermediate level courses are offered in Burmese, related courses are taught and dissertations produced across campus in Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Ethnic Studies, History, Folklore, Linguistics, and Political Science (re)examining the rich history and cultures of Myanmar.[2] 

Contribution by Kenneth Wong, Lecturer
Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies

     Sources consulted:

  1. Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley (accessed 4/8/19)
  2. Burmese (BURMESE) – Berkeley Academic Guide – UC Berkeley (accessed 4/8/19)

~~~~~~~~~~
Title:
Rājā vaṃsa teʺ kabyā
Title in English:
Author: edited by Ūʺ Phyoʻ
Imprint: Ranʻ Kunʻ : Haṃsāvātī Sa Taṅʻʺ Cā Tuikʻ 1899.
Edition: 1st edition
Language: Burmese
Language Family: Sino-Tibetan
Source: HathiTrust Digital Library (UC Berkeley)
URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b4083733

Print editions of interest at Berkeley:

The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

Follow The Languages of Berkeley!
Subscribe by email
www.ucblib.link/languages