Bulletin: Israeli literature and Israel in Literature

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New Book: Levine, Center and Periphery in Israeli Literature (in Hebrew)

Levine, Daphna. The Third Space. Center and Periphery in Israeli Literature. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

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ניתוח ספרות בכלים מרחביים הוא אתר בלתי נדלה להבנת המורכבות החברתית העומדת בבסיס הייצוגים התרבותיים. מטרתו של ספר זה לשרטט את המרחב המופיע כרקע, להפוך אותו לרטורי ולחשוף באמצעותו רכיבים שהטקסטים הספרותיים מבקשים להדחיק. הדיון בכלים מתחום חקר המרחב הנו פורה במיוחד בהקשר של הספרות הישראלית, שכן ספרות זו נכתבת במסגרת השיח הציוני שמאבק מרחבי מתמיד מתחולל בו. אולם הדיון פורה לא רק כשהספרות שותפה לפרויקט של רכישת הבעלות על הטריטוריה, אלא גם כשהיא מתנערת כביכול מהטריטוריה ומתרכזת באינדיבידואל, במרכז או במערב, תוך כדי הדחקה והשתקה של המרחב ה”אחר”, או תוך כדי יצירת רב-תרבותיות ופוליפוניה אתנית מדומה. או-אז מתגלה המרחב המדומיין כתמונת ראי ליחסי כוח בין מרכז לפריפריה.

הייצוגים המרחביים הספרותיים מאפשרים לבחון כיצד מתעצבות תרבויות מוכפפות תוך כדי הפנמה של ערכי התרבות ההגמונית, תהליך המלווה ביצירת מרחב (פיזי ולשוני) היברידי שלישי שבו מובנת זהותם תוך כדי “זיהום הדדי”, על פי מונחיו של הומי באבא. יחסי הגומלין בין המרכז והפריפריה יופיעו בספר זה כאתר דינמי הנמתח מעבר לדיכוטומיות הבינאריות, תוך כדי ניתוח לא צפוי של שלוש יצירות ישראליות: “חמסין וציפורים משוגעות” מאת גבריאלה אביגור-רותם, “שום גמדים לא יבואו” מאת שרה שילה, ו”ככה אני מדברת עם הרוח” מאת סמי ברדוגו.

דפנה לוין היא אדריכלית; בוגרת המחלקה לארכיטקטורה באקדמיה “בצלאל” ומלמדת בה; בעלת תואר ראשון ושני בספרות כללית והשוואתית באוניברסיטה העברית.

 

 

 

New Book: Flantsboim Gaber, The Golden Fantasy in the Poetry of Laor and Mishol (in Hebrew)

Flantsboim Gaber, Ruja. Longing for Kyoto: the “Golden Fantasy” in the Poetry of Yitzhak Laor and Agi Mishol. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
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גם כשאני בקיוטו, אני מתגעגע לקיוטו”, כך כתב המשורר היפני בָּשׁוֹ במאה ה-17 וניסח בצמצום פיוטי רב-עוצמה תובנה שהפסיכואנליזה ניסחה מאות שנים לאחר מכן. תובנה זו היא הבסיס לכתיבתו של ספר זה.

“פנטזיית הזהב”, מושג שטבע הפסיכואנליטיקאי סידני סמית, מבטאת את הכמיהה העמוקה של נושאיה לחזור לקיום בראשיתי-סימביוטי שבו כל צרכיהם הרגשיים והגופניים מסופקים במלואם – מצב המיוחס בדרך כלל לשלבי ההתפתחות המוקדמים ביותר של התינוק. פעמים רבות נתפסת הפנטזיה כמנגנון הגנה פסיכולוגי שמקורו בתכנים רגשיים מייסרים הקשורים לחרדות פרידה. סקירת הקשריה הספרותיים והתרבותיים מצביעה על כך שכמיהה זו נוכחת בתרבות המערבית מראשית ימיה ועד העידן הפוסטמודרני.

המחקר המוצג כאן מציע יישום של מושג “פנטזיית הזהב” על השירה העברית של שנות ה-80 וה-90, בעיקר על שירתם של יצחק לאור ואגי משעול. לאחר שהוא בוחן את הקשרים הקיימים בין דרכי הביטוי של הפנטזיה לבין זרמי העומק הפועלים בעידן הפוסטמודרני בכלל ובשירה הפוסטמודרנית בפרט, הוא מראה כיצד היא מופיעה כמוטיב מרכזי חוזר בפואטיקות של לאור ומשעול, לצד משוררים עבריים אחרים הפועלים במקביל להם. הספר מעמיק בבחינת התהליכים הנפשיים העומדים ביסוד פואטיקות אלה, ומצביע על האופן שבו מלמדים ביטוייה השונים על תבנית העומק העומדת בתשתיתן המשפיעה על עיצוב המבנה והתוכן שלהן. מחקר זה חושף את מגוון האמצעים התמטיים, המבניים, הפואטיים, והלשוניים – האובססיביים לעתים – שבהם חותרים השירים למימוש פואטי של “פנטזיית הזהב”.

ד”ר רוּזָ’ה פְלַנְצְבּוֹים גָבֵּר היא פסיכולוגית קלינית וחוקרת שירה באוריינטציה פסיכואנליטית.

 

 

 

Thesis: Ichikawa, Minorities in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Literature

Ichikawa, Kimiko. Minorities, Minority Identity and Violence: The Comparison in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Minor Literature, Masters Thesis. Brandeis University, 2016.

 

URL: http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/32275

 

Abstract

This thesis examines how minority identities are depicted in contemporary autobiographical literature from the 1990’s to present. In this thesis, I focus my analysis on minority literatures from Israel and Japan. In spite of the extreme rarity of the literary comparison, I examine minorities of Israeli Arab and the second generation Japanese Koreans. I explore how these minorities with different histories are represented, with shared experience of oppression and violence, and analyze the phenomena or ramifications in minority identity. By analyzing famous novelists of minority literature— Israeli Arab author, Sayed Kashua and two Japanese Korean authors, Yi Yang-ji and Kazuki Kaneshiro—I concentrate on pointing out the influences and outcomes of psychological and political violence (Chapter I and II) to their minority identities. This comparison will enable a wider perspectives regarding minorities in various societies, and an analysis of issues of relating to minority as well as race identity in modern life. This unique literary comparison attempts to examine cultural and political similarities as well as differences in order to explore the phenomena of two countries with different cultures but that share certain similarities, particularly in the articulation of their minority literature. Although Israel and Japan differ very much in term of culture and history, I still find significant similarities in the minority literature. The minorities I examined in Hebrew and Japanese minor literature interact with violence in various ways each society. I focused my examination especially on psychological and political violence in addition to physical violence. My questions in researching this minority literature revolve around how these minorities relate to these kinds of violence. This thesis concentrates on presenting the ways that these the minority authors address their own political identities, and the ways that social violence and oppression influence their minority identities.

 

 

 

New Article: Wiseman, Eternal Peace, a Satire by S.Y. Agnon

Wiseman, Laura R. “Shelom ‘Olamim—Eternal Peace by S.Y. Agnon: Yishuv-Era Society on the Brink of Statehood .” Modern Judaism 36.2 (2016): 163-85.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mj/kjw007

 

Extract

This 1942 satire is set in the period of Israel’s emergent statehood. Agnon delivers a critique of pre-statehood society and leadership at the nadir of drought, wrapped up in self-importance and internal rifts over inconsequential matters while the very existence of the people is threatened from without. While there is room for historical or theoretical examinations of such a story, this article adopts a literary approach for its methodology. It employs textual analysis to highlight a cluster of literary devices including a leitmotif, reverberations of classical Hebrew texts, and exaggerations. Together they animate the scathing satire in this period piece. To deploy the irony in Shelom ‘Olamim–“Eternal Peace” Agnon installs each rhetorical device and echo in an inverted or perceptibly flawed fashion, and magnifies minutiae to hyperbolic proportions. In so doing he crafts a game of nahafokh-hu a topsy-turvy puzzle, making his medium the message. The puzzle and its pieces carry the storyteller’s caustic criticism of the inverted priorities and unwarranted hubris of the leaders of yishuv-era society on the brink of statehood. In contributing a thesis based on textual analysis, an allegorical translation of the ambiguous Hebrew title, and fresh translations of selected excerpts, this article offers English-readers access to the humor and irony embedded in Agnon’s multivalent Hebrew writing and word play.

 

 

 

New Article: Peleg, A New Hebrew Literary Diaspora? Israeli Literature Abroad

Peleg, Yaron. “A New Hebrew Literary Diaspora? Israeli Literature Abroad.” DSpace@Cambridge.

 

URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254458

 

Abstract

Although the modern stage in the development of Hebrew began in Europe about two hundred years ago, after 1948 modern Hebrew became confined for the most part to the state of Israel. The tumultuous course of Jewish history in the past two centuries, including the Holocaust, the acculturation of North American Jewry, and above all the creation of a Hebrew speaking sovereign state in the Land of Israel, have by and large emptied the Jewish diaspora of Hebrew; certainly of the creative kind of modern Hebrew, which inspired the poets and writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Hebrew Revival in Europe, and the North American Hebraists in the first half of the twentieth century. And yet in the past few decades we are witnessing a growing number of Hebrew writers who are no longer confined by geography. Although they still publish their works in Israel, they write them elsewhere, mainly in the US and Europe. Increasingly, too, their works reflect their habitat as well, the peoples and cultures of their countries of residence. Are we witnessing the birth of what can perhaps be termed a “post-national Hebrew” era, an era in which Israel remains an inspiring cultural center, but no longer the only location for the creation of original work in Hebrew? This article looks at various Hebrew novels that were written outside of Israel in the last few decades and examines the contours of what may perhaps be a new chapter in the history of modern Hebrew.

Whether this level of private spending and its concentration on sicker and higher income individuals violates the commitment of equity and fairness is up to the citizens of Israel. For those of us in the U.S. we only wish our level of inequality was so low. In making the decision on what Israel should do about its inequality it would be helpful to understand why individuals use private funding for services that are covered by the national health insurance system. And, most importantly does using a different source of funds (private versus public) impact on the health outcomes of the care involved. This issue is particularly relevant with respect to the very high use of private financing for surgeries.

 

 

 

New Article: Bar-Itzhak, Literary Representations of Haifa

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. “The Dissolution of Utopia: Literary Representations of the City of Haifa, between Herzl’s Altneuland and Later Israeli Works.” Partial Answers 14.2 (2016): 323-41.

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URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/621157

 

Abstract

This article traces literary depictions of the city of Haifa, starting from its utopian literary prototype in Theodor Herzl’s influential Altneuland (1902), and continuing with later Israeli writing, by Yehudit Hendel, Sami Michael, and Hillel Mittelpunkt. The article shows how the Israeli works discussed set literary Haifa as a stage for examining questions of identity, belonging, and the relations between individual and society, through an emphasis on the complex ties between language, ethnicity, and space. The literary city of these works is compared to the city of Herzl’s utopian vision. I argue that the evolution of literary Haifa is associated with shifts in Israeli collective self-perception: from the utopian mode of thought, in which difficulties and complexities remain invisible, through the gradual turning of the gaze towards the difficulties and fractures in the emergent new society (first within the Jewish society, but then also outside it — among the Arab minority); and finally, to an inability to accept the absence of utopia from the present, leading to escapism and a quest for the longed-for ideal in the pre-national past.

 

 

 

New Book: Hever, Suddenly the Sight of War

Hever, Hannan. Suddenly, the Sight of War. Violence and Nationalism in Hebrew Poetry in the 1940s. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

 Hever

Suddenly, the Sight of War is a genealogy of Hebrew poetry written in pre-state Israel between the beginning of World War II and the War of Independence in 1948. In it, renowned literary scholar Hannan Hever sheds light on how the views and poetic practices of poets changed as they became aware of the extreme violence in Europe toward the Jews.

In dealing with the difficult topics of the Shoah, Natan Alterman’s 1944 publication of The Poems of the Ten Plagues proved pivotal. His work inspired the next generation of poets like Haim Guri, as well as detractors like Amir Gilboa. Suddenly, the Sight of War also explores the relations between the poetry of the struggle for national independence and the genre of war-reportage, uniquely prevalent at the time. Hever concludes his genealogy with a focus on the feminine reaction to the War of Independence showing how women writers such as Lea Goldberg and Yocheved Bat-Miryam subverted war poetry at the end of the 1940s. Through the work of these remarkable poets, we learn how a culture transcended seemingly unspeakable violence.

 

Table of Contents

Part I: Hebrew Symbolist Poetry During World War II
1. “The Real Has Become a Symbol”
2. The Dispute over War Poetry
3. Criticism of Nationalism Violence
4. Reading Nationalist Poetry Critically
5. Nationalism Anthologized
6. The Living-Dead in Joy of the Poor
7. Revence on a Nationalist Scale
8. Leah Goldberg Writes War Poetry
9. The Duality of the Symbolist Woman Poet
10. The Living-Dead and the Female Body
11. Amir Gilboa: Boy Poet

Part II: Historical Analogy and National Allegory During the Holocaust
12. A Surprising Moral Judgment
13. The Uncommon Stance of a Major Poet
14. Critical Reception
15. A Postnationalist Reading
16. A Symbol, Not an Allegory
17. Allegory in The Poems of the Plagues of Egypt versus Symbolism in Joy of the Poor
18. Allegory as a Nonhegemonic Stance
19. Alterman and the Memory of the Holocaust
20. The Father-Son Strategy
21. Blind Vengeance
22. Breaking the Cycle of Crime and Punishment
23. History of the Defeated

Part III: Symbols of Death in the National War for Independence
26. Return of the Hegemonic Symbol
27. The Living-Dead in the Independence War
28. Amir Gilboa and the Subversion of the Symbol
29. Gilboa versus the Metaphor of the Living-Dead
30. Poets as Reporters
31. Sorrow Petrified into Symbols
32. Hegemonic Strategies
33. From Reportage to Lyric
34. Women Write of Fallen Soldiers as Flesh and Blood
35. In the Service of National Subjectivity
36. Women and the Metaphor of the Living-Dead
37. Criticism of the Living-Dead Metaphor
38. The Authority and Power of Women
39. Popular versus Canonical Mourning
40. The Secrets and Power of Women

Conclusion
Index

 

HANNAN HEVER is the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at Yale University. He is the author of several books, including Producing the Modern Hebrew Canon.

 

 

 

New Article: Rosen, The Poetry of 1.5 and Second-Generation Israelis of Hungarian Origin

Rosen, Ilana. “The Poetry of 1.5 and Second-Generation Israelis of Hungarian Origin.” Hungarian Cultural Studies 8 (2015): 46-62.

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/ahea.2015.218

 

Abstract

This article continues my 2014 article in this journal, in which I presented a beginning of work on contemporary Israeli prose writers of Hungarian origin. My analysis of those works showed that they are governed by recurring concerns, or literary themes, such as: the memory or post-memory of the Holocaust; Hungarian-to-Hebrew language and translation peculiarities; preoccupation with the family’s past, including that of remote relatives; and fascination with home objects, dishes, and recipes representing the family’s Hungarian past. Following my work on those prose works, in this article I focus on the works and worlds of 1.5 and second-generation Hungarian-Israeli poets and explore, first, the presence of the concerns or themes governing this group’s prose works, and, second, issues of identity through the poets’ depictions of experiences such as persecution, displacement, emigration, and re-settlement in Israel. My present discussion of the 1.5 and second-generation Hungarian-Israeli poets is divided into four themes: the Holocaust as an epitome of catastrophe, the Holocaust as memory and post-memory, co-fusion of languages and cultures, and the eternal mental displacement of the poets’ parents.

 

 

 

New Book: Levy, Israeli Theatre (in Hebrew)

Levy, Shimon. Israeli Theatre. Time, Space, Plot. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
Israeli Theatre
 

In the absence of a well-established tradition of drama, the new Hebrew theatre in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, is caught in a fruitful and fascinating bind. Processes of secularization and liberalization among world Jewry and pre-State Israel fostered openness towards the theatre. This relatively new art in Jewish tradition was also seen as entertainment, but in its early years it was primarily employed as an educational and ideological tool in the service of Zionist national needs in the struggle for the creation of a Hebrew culture. The dramatic nature of this change in the status of Jews and Israel not only summoned a revived reading of Jewish history, but also its staging, pun intended, on the Hebrew stage, in the Land of Israel, and of course – the Hebrew language.

This book addresses issues and topics of Israeli drama and theatre from a social-artistic perspective. The prologue treats the development of a Jewish-Hebrew-Israeli theatre against the backdrop of secularization of the Jewish community from the early 19th century to its flourish in contemporary Israel. The basic conditions for theatre in general and Israeli theatre in particular are discussed in a chapter on space in Israeli drama. Theatrical props are discussed in a chapter which examines the idiosyncrasy of local drama through one of the elements of its space design. The Hebrew Bible and Judaism are addressed in a chapter on secular sanctity, characteristic to our stage. Another component of Israeli identity, its attitude toward Arabs, wars and the protracted conflict, is discussed in a chapter entitled “captive in fiction.” A discussion of three giants in Israeli drama – Nissim Aloni, Joshua Sobol and Hanoch Levin – is structured by the meta-theatrical intentionalism of each of them. the Acco Festival, an annual event since 1980, is discussed as a key component in the Israeli theatrical scene. The book concludes with a eulogy for the Hebrew radio drama, a celebrated genre in its heyday until it was marginalized by television, but its significant contribution to Israeli drama nevertheless remains.

 

SHIMON LEVY is a Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Tel Aviv University, where he taught for many years, and was chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. His main areas of research are Hebrew-Israeli theatre and drama, the works of Samuel Beckett, and theories of chaos in relation to theatre. He has published dozens of articles, and hundreds of essays on theatre in Hebrew, English, and German, as well as about ten books. He has translated over 100 plays for the stage, and continues to be active as a director in Israel and abroad.

 

 

 

New Book: Shamir, The Native Foreigner; Representations of Hybridity in Modern Israeli Fiction

Shamir, Ayelet. The Native Foreigner. Representations of Hybridity in Modern Israeli Fiction. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
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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.

 

 

 

New Book: Cohen, Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Cohen, Hella Bloom. The Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine. Orientalism, Poetry, and Biopolitics, Postcolonialism and Religions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

literary imagination

This book presents a cutting-edge critical analysis of the trope of miscegenation and its biopolitical implications in contemporary Palestinian and Israeli literature, poetry, and discourse. The relationship between nationalism and demographics are examined through the narrative and poetic intrigue of intimacy between Arabs and Jews, drawing from a range of theoretical perspectives, including public sphere theory, orientalism, and critical race studies. Revisiting the controversial Brazilian writer Gilberto Freyre, who championed miscegenation in his revisionary history of Brazil, the book deploys a comparative investigation of Palestinian and Israeli writers’ preoccupation with the mixed romance. Author Hella Bloom Cohen offers new interpretations of works by Mahmoud Darwish, A.B. Yehoshua, Orly Castel-Bloom, Nathalie Handal, and Rula Jebreal, among others.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction to Israeli-Palestinian Literature and Postcolonial Studies: An Uneasy Relationship
  • 2. Reading Freyre in the Holy Land
  • 3. “The Synthetic Principle”: Darwish’s “Rita”
  • 4. “Intimate Histories”: Internal Miscegenation in A. B. Yehoshua’s A Late Divorce
  • 5. “Mixed Syndicate”: Poetics of Fabric under Occupation
  • 6. Reading past Freyre: Disembodied Miscegenation
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

 

HELLA BLOOM COHEN is an assistant professor of English at St. Catherine University, USA. She previously held a visiting assistant professorship at Elon University, and has published on material culture and global literature.

 

 

 

ToC: Hebrew Studies 56 (2015)

Below are the relevant articles for Israel Studies from the latest issue of Hebrew Studies. For a full Table of Contents,click here.

 

Innovative Designation of Diminution in the Writings of Abraham Shlonsky

pp. 231-243

Bat-Zion Yemini

Memory and History in Israeli Post-Apocalyptic Theater

pp. 245-263

Zahava Caspi

Questioning Boundaries of Language and the World: Ambivalence and Disillusionment in the Writings of Shimon Adaf

pp. 265-294

Dorit Lemberger

Hebrew Neologisms in the Writings of Anton Shammas

pp. 295-314

Adel Shakour, Abdallah Tarabeih

The Pain of Two Homelands: Immigration to Israel in Twenty-First Century Hebrew Prose Fiction

pp. 315-331

Smadar Shiffman

“Our Virgin Friends and Wives”?: Female Sexual Subjectivity in Yona Wallach’s Poetry

pp. 333-356

Amalia Ziv

New Testament Jesus in Modern Jewish Literature: A Symposium

pp. 357-358

Zev Garber

Jesus and the Pharisees through the Eyes of Two Modern Hebrew Writers: A Contrarian Perspective

pp. 359-365

Neta Stahl

A Question of Truth: Form, Structure, and Character in Der man fun Natseres

pp. 367-376

Melissa Weininger

Overtones of Isaac and Jesus in Modern Hebrew Narrative

pp. 377-384

Aryeh Wineman

The Jewish Jesus: Conversation, Not Conversion

pp. 385-392

Zev Garber

Reviews

 

Compassion and Fury: On The Fiction of A. B. Yehoshua by Gilead Morahg (review)

pp. 433-436

Yael Halevi-Wise

Periodicals

pp. 437-456

Books Received — 2015

pp. 457-460

ToC: Israel Studies Review 30.2 (2015)

Israel Studies Review 30.2 (2015)

Editors’ Note

Editors’ Note
pp. v-vi(2)

 

Articles

Does Israel Have a Navel? Anthony Smith and Zionism
pp. 28-49(22)
Author: Berent, Moshe

 

Book Reviews

Book Reviews
pp. 130-155(26)

New Book: Kronfeld, The Full Severity of Compassion. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

Kronfeld, Chana. The Full Severity of Compassion. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

 

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Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) was the foremost Israeli poet of the twentieth century and an internationally influential literary figure whose poetry has been translated into some 40 languages. Hitherto, no comprehensive literary study of Amichai’s poetry has appeared in English. This long-awaited book seeks to fill the gap.

Widely considered one of the greatest poets of our time and the most important Jewish poet since Paul Celan, Amichai is beloved by readers the world over. Beneath the carefully crafted and accessible surface of Amichai’s poetry lies a profound, complex, and often revolutionary poetic vision that deliberately disrupts traditional literary boundaries and distinctions. Chana Kronfeld focuses on the stylistic implications of Amichai’s poetic philosophy and on what she describes as his “acerbic critique of ideology.” She rescues Amichai’s poetry from complacent appropriations, showing in the process how his work obliges us to rethink major issues in literary studies, including metaphor, intertextuality, translation, and the politics of poetic form. In spotlighting his deeply egalitarian outlook, this book makes the experimental, iconoclastic Amichai newly compelling.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective
  • 1 Beyond Appropriation: Reclaiming the Revolutionary Amichai
  • 2 “In the Narrow Between”: Amichai’s Poetic System
  • 3 “I Want to Mix Up the Bible”: Intertextuality, Agency, and the Poetics of Radical Allusion
  • 4 Celebrating Mediation: The Poet as Translator
  • 5 Living on the Hyphen: The Necessary Metaphor
  • 6 Double Agency: Amichai and the Problematics of Generational Literary Historiography

 

CHANA KRONFELD is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of On the Margins of Modernism: Decentering Literary Dynamics (winner of the MLA Scaglione Prize for Best Book in Comparative Literary Studies) and the co-translator (with Chana Bloch) of Yehuda Amichai’s Open Closed Open: Poems (winner of the PEN Translation Prize). Kronfeld is the recipient of the Akavyahu Lifetime Achievement Award for her studies of Hebrew and Yiddish poetry.

 

 

 

New Book: Koren-Maimon, Caregivers-Patients Relationships in Agnon (in Hebrew)

Koren-Maimon, Yair. Caregivers-Patients Relationships in the Works of S. Y. Agnon. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

agnon-therapy

 

 

Yair Koren-Maimon’s book offers a new interpretation of some of the most famous works of Shmuel Yosef Agnon (“Tehilla,” “The Doctor’s Divorce”, “In the Prime of Her Life”, “Forever”, “A Simple Story”, “beyond the walls”, etc.), with affinity to a psychoanalytic-hermeneutical technique which focuses on relationships of patients and caregivers. In other words, the literary works is examined here as a therapeutic experience in its various forms. The book situates Agnon’s writings in a psychoanalytic context, all in the spirit of the “Reader Response” school, as well as the influence of post-structuralism.

One thing unites all these disciplines, approaches and theorists in psychology – the attempt to portray a comprehensive picture of the hidden world of the human soul, for the study of human personality and behavior. This book refers to various aspects of psychology and focuses primarily in the areas of psychopathology and psychotherapy within their literary context. In the spirit of the “Reader Response” school, and in light of the deconstructionist approach, the reading proposed here will read the Agnonic text against itself, in order to expose the “textual unconscious” whose meanings are different from those made explicit. This deconstructionist reading seeks to expose the therapeutic story hidden between the lines of the overt literary text visible. Thus a new text is created, one that is a merger of the original literary composition and the manner of reading the text by the interpreter. Perhaps this is the main purpose of the interpretation of literature.

 

DR. YAIR KOREN-MAIMON works on the study of literature, psychology, gender, and film. He teaches at the Gordon College of Education, and is a District Inspector for Literature for the Israeli Ministry of Education. His articles have been published in various platforms in Israel and abroad..

 

 

 

New Article: Schirrmeister, A Contiguous Reading of Two Anti-War Novels by Avigdor Hameiri and M. Y. Ben-Gavriêl

Schirrmeister, Sebastian. “Two Roads to the Land: A Contiguous Reading of Two Anti-War Novels by Avigdor Hameiri and M. Y. Ben-Gavriêl”. Naharaim 9.1-2 (2015): 108-27.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/naha-2015-0004

Abstract

Drawing on Dan Miron’s concept of “literary contiguity,” this article arranges an encounter between two documentary novels about the experience of the First World War, both told from the perspective of a Jewish officer. Although rather different with regard to their place in the Modern Hebrew canon, the well-known novel The Great Madness (1929) by Avigdor Hameiri and the unknown novel Gold in the Streets (1946) by M. Y. Ben-Gavriêl reveal numerous topical and aesthetic intersections when read alongside each other. The joint analysis shows that besides their pacifism and general criticism of the logic of the nation-state, both novels share a common geographical and ideological trajectory. Their interpretation of the events depicted during the “Great War” envisages the Land of Israel as the ultimate destination of their protagonists.

 

 

 

New Article: Zakai, Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper

Zakai, Orian. “A Uniform of a Writer: Literature, Ideology and Sexual Violence in the Writing of Rivka Alper.” Prooftexts 34.2 (2015): 232-70.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v034/34.2.zakai.html

 

Abstract

This essay explores the politics of women’s writing in the Zionist yishuv by examining the literary career of Rivka Alper, whose work features a difficult clash between a “feminine” narrative of sexual trauma and Zionist ideology. I discuss Alper’s literary trajectory from her first novel, Pirpurey mahapekha, a coming-of-age story of a young woman, which foregrounds themes of sexual trauma and gendered violence, to her second project, Ha-mitnaḥalim ba-har, a biography of a Zionist role model, one of the women founders of the colony of Motza. Alper’s transition from “personal” fiction to ideological literature is part of a process of an arduous self-fashioning toward carving a place for herself, albeit marginal, in the Zionist republic of letters. Her process demonstrates the predicament of writing as a woman in a Zionist cultural space that marks writing as an emasculating practice, but exclusively assigns male writers the role of national subjects. In such a space, I argue, transitioning to marginal genres in order to write for the collective emerges as a privileged alternative for an aspiring woman writer. And yet, as contents from Alper’s fictional writing infiltrate her biographic writing, the literariness of her “less literary” text exposes the exclusions that lie at the heart of the Zionist ideological project, and, in turn, reinscribes “the feminine” as a composite marker of these exclusions back into the Zionist text.

 

 

New Article: Szobel, Prostitution, Power and Vulnerability in Early Twentieth-Century Hebrew Literature

Szobel, Ilana. “‘Lights in the Darkness’: Prostitution, Power and Vulnerability in Early Twentieth-Century Hebrew Literature.” Prooftexts 34.2 (2015): 170-206.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v034/34.2.szobel.html

 

Abstract

This article explores the juxtaposition of prostitution, masculinity, and nationalism in the works of Hebrew writers at the beginning of the twentieth century. By discussing the psycho-poetical elements that underlie David Vogel’s depiction of prostitution and the ideological elements in Gershon Shofman’s work, and by exposing their dialogue with Hayim Nahman Bialik, this project explores power, vulnerability, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in Hebrew literature of the first half of the twentieth century.

My study argues that the trope of the prostitute enables writers of early Hebrew literature to negotiate questions of strength and weakness in the Jewish world. Although Bialik’s option of sovereign masculinity became the norm for the Zionist discourse, Shofman, Vogel, Brenner, Reuveni and others expressed different perceptions of gender and power. Hence, in order to understand the intensity of the poetic, national, and gendered dilemmas and struggles of this generation, this study offers to listen not only to their concepts of revival, renewal and empowerment, but also to their expressions of weakness, frustration, loss, anger and aggression.

 

 

Conference: AJS Program Book now online (Boston, Dec 13-15, 2015)

The 47th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies will take place in Boston, December 13-15, 2015.

The full program is now available on the AJS website: http://www.ajsnet.org/conference-menu.htm

You may also download the program here: PDF