Shamir, Ayelet. The Native Foreigner. Representations of Hybridity in Modern Israeli Fiction. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).
The notion of hybridity is suppressed in the discussion over Israeli society, culture, and literature. This book deals with the concept of hybridity, its cultural genealogy, its essence and characteristics. It offers to use it as a prism for reading three works of modern Israeli prose, “Refuge” (1977) by Sami Michael; “Arabesques” (1986) by Anton Shammas and “The Liberated Bride “(2001) by A.B. Yehoshua.
These works represent the very essence of the cultural hybrid experience that exist between Jewish and Arabic, and express the social and linguistic dualism characteristic of this experience. Forces of attraction and repulsion interact between these two societies, and this dualism causes internal conflicts while allowing for mutual input. Alongside manifestations of anxiety, separatism, and rejection by the other minority, which is often perceived as a “native foreigner” within us, there is also an equally strong presence of wishes of mixture, attraction, and erotic intimacy, disruptive wishes which signify blurring and crossing of boundaries.
This book deals with various questions: who is the native foreigner? What is its voice? What is actually the hybrid “Third Israeli”? What might be the best literary expression of it?
AYELET SHAMIR is an author, and the chair of the Department of drama literature creative-expressive arts, at the Oranim Academic College.