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The History of Nonsense

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Publication Date: January 2006

Publisher(s): Association for Jewish Studies; Association for Jewish Studies

Author(s): Abe Socher; Abe Socher

Series: AJS Perspectives: The Newsletter of the Association for Jewish Studies, Fall 2006, pp.32-33.

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Education (Curriculum)
Social conditions (History)

Keywords: Judaic Studies; Humor; Academic Research; Leadership

Type: Report


The author explores the history and less than certain pedigree of a witty statement attributed to Saul Lieberman: "Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science." (The author concludes that this attribution is credible.) The author asserts that in exploring the history of this bon mot, he wishes to challenge current students of past texts and ideas to contend with the worry that lurks beneath Lieberman's witticism.