Cite: Peleg, Language and Territory in Modern Hebrew Literature

Peleg, Yaron. “Writing the Land: Language and Territory in Modern Hebrew Literature.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 12.2 (2013): 297-312.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2013.796159

 

Abstract

This essay examines one of the greatest ambitions of the Hebrew cultural revival––the creation of a modern and distinct Hebrew national culture by rewinding history and reconnecting the indeterminate Jewish subject to a determinate Hebrew soil. The essay looks at three writers from three distinct periods in the last century, S. Yizhar, Amos Oz and Orly Castel-Bloom, whose works are deeply concerned with this connection between man and land, and who demonstrate that concern through a particular use of language. The essay shows how each of these writers uses the Hebrew language to comment on these relations in the last 50 or so years and tell us something about the state of Israeli Hebrew culture in the so-called post-national age. The article looks at Yizhar’s careful creation of a language-land bond, at the way Amos Oz warns against the excesses of these bonds, and at Orly Castel-Bloom’s critical attempt to undermine these bonds half a century after they have been created.

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