New Article:Miccoli, Family, Nation and Egyptian Jewish Past in Israeli Literature

Miccoli, Dario. “Another History: Family, Nation and the Remembrance of the Egyptian Jewish Past in Contemporary Israeli Literature.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13.3 (2014): 321-39.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14725886.2014.950124

 

Abstract

In this article I will focus on how Egyptian Jews who migrated to Israel after 1948 and their descendants remember Egypt and how they situate themselves vis-à-vis Israeli society and culture. I will base my analysis on three semi-autobiographical novels published between 2003 and 2011 by Israeli writers of Egyptian descent belonging to three subsequent generations: Baderekh la’itztadion by Yitzhak Gormezano Goren, Kol tze‘adenu by Ronit Matalon, and Yolanda by Moshe Sakal. By analysing specific passages from these books, I will argue that even after the decline of the Jewish presence in Egypt in the 1950s, the cultural and social worlds to which their families belonged did not vanish completely but, rather, struggled for survival at a very intimate level. This ultimately produced a multifaceted archive in which the written narrative of the family’s past became an alternative homeland where historical memories and fictional details are inextricably blended.

 

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