New Article: Hollander, Zionism, Masculinity, and Sexuality in Reuveni’s ‘Ad Yerushalayim

Hollander, Philip. “Rereading ‘Decadent’ Palestinian Hebrew Literature: The Intersection of Zionism, Masculinity, and Sexuality in Aharon Reuveni’s ‘Ad Yerushalayim.” AJS Review 39.1 (2015): 3-26.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0364009414000622

 

Abstract

This article asserts that politics motivated Aharon Reuveni to employ representations of psychic fragmentation and dysfunctional social institutions to portray Palestinian Jewish life in his novelistic trilogy ‘Ad Yerushalayim. These purportedly decadent representations helped him foreground individual and collective flaws he saw limiting the early twentieth-century Palestinian Jewish community’s development and promote norms he saw as conducive to growth. Thus, as examination of the trilogy’s central male figures demonstrates, Reuveni advances a Zionist masculinity grounded in introspectiveness and ongoing commitment to the achievement of communally shared goals. To further support this Zionist masculine form, the trilogy categorizes men who pursue homosocial ties with others who don’t maintain this masculinity as homosexuals. Thus gender and sexuality are used to coerce male readers into adopting specific behavioral norms. This attention to gender and sexuality’s role in early twentieth-century Palestinian Hebrew fiction offers a way to grasp its long-overlooked political character.

 

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