New Article: Bar-Yosef, Heart of Darkness in Israeli Culture

Bar-Yosef, Eitan. “‘The Horror’ in Hebrew. Heart of Darkness in Israeli Culture.” Interventions (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2015.1079499

 

Abstract

Tracing the intricate presence of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in Israeli culture, this essay explores how elements of the novella (the journey to Africa, the iconic Kurtz, and the nature of ‘darkness’) have been repeatedly evoked, both implicitly and explicitly, in various cultural contexts. Focusing on three major episodes – the emergence of political Zionism in the 1890s; young Israel’s intensive involvement in Black Africa in the 1960s; and the pessimism that engulfed Israeli society after the 1973 war – the essay suggests that the novella’s relevance to Israeli culture is rooted in the work’s fluid allegorical mode, which parallels tensions and contradictions that have characterized the Zionist project from its inception. This mirroring reached a climax in the journalistic work of Adam Baruch, who offered a highly stylized postcolonial reworking of Heart of Darkness in his influential account of a journey undertaken to find a disgraced Israeli general, self-exiled in Africa. The search for the Israeli ‘Kurtz’ thus continues to function as a powerful emblem of Israel’s colonial violence.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s