A Son’s Note


After my father, Joseph Witriol (1912 – 2002), typed up Mumme Loohshen he tried to get it published commercially and, when that failed, considered using vanity publishers but could not afford the cost.

I have not changed the text except for a handful of minor typing errors. If some passages baffled me, I took it to be my misreading or ignorance rather than the author’s miswriting. There are some complex and lengthy sentences which are harder to avoid when discussing the interplay between three or even more languages. He also uses ‘difficult’ words and foreign words and tags. This was not an affectation, but an aspect of his impressive vocabulary and literary knowledge. And, despite their obscurity, words such as borborygmus are both useful and delightful.

As it was written in the 1970s some references to books, places and so on will now be incorrect or dated. Stylistic conventions have mainly been kept even though they may differ from today’s norms. This is also true of his Yiddish and Hebrew transcriptions. Yiddish words are in bold, words in other foreign languages are italicised and English equivalents/translations are in quotation marks. I have substituted chapter links for page references in the original manuscript and left out the extensive word lists and index compiled by my father.

Whether minor or more significant, mistakes should be attributed to me, not the author. I also ask the reader’s understanding for formatting and similar errors caused by my amateur use of both Word and the subsequent conversion here for WordPress.

Philip Witriol, Friern Barnet, London. November  2012

More background on this book and other writings of Joseph Witriol can be found at http://philipwitriol.wordpress.com where comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms and indeed compliments would be very welcome. I am happy for the work, or extracts from it, to be published elsewhere, but would appreciate acknowledgement of the author and a link to the original.