New Article: Bourdon & Boudana, Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome, and Sandrine Boudana. “Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Cries of Outrage and Dialogue of the Deaf.” The International Journal of Press/Politics (early view; online first).

This article analyzes the controversies triggered by sixteen cartoons about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, published in nine western countries between 2001 and 2014. For this, we use E.D. Hirsch’s distinction between the meaning of a text—which refers to the author’s intentions—and its significance—which emphasizes the contexts of production and reception. Critics focused mostly on significance, defenders on meaning. Using this distinction, we first examine the rhetoric of cartoons: stereotypes linked to antisemitism (accusations of deicide and blood libel), use of the Star of David as metonym of Israel, disputed historical analogies (between Israeli policy and Nazism or Apartheid). Second, we analyze four levels of contextual interpretations that have framed the debates: the cartoon as genre, the ethotic arguments about the cartoonist and/or newspaper’s track record, the cartoons’ historical and transnational intertextuality (especially with the Arab press), and the issue of audiences’ sensitivities. We analyze the complex exchanges of arguments that led mostly to a dialogue of the deaf, but also, in some cases, to partial agreement on the offensive character of the cartoons. We conclude that this methodology can be applied to other controversies around popular political texts, which offer similar characteristics.




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.



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 Article: Ben-Yehuda, Between Bialik and Himself

Ben-Yehuda, Omri. “Between Bialik and Himself: Acting Hyperbole Out.” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 27 (2014): 155ff (in Hebrew).



The article examines some of Bialik’s major narrative works – mainly Big Harry, Behind the Fence, In the City of Slaughter and A Fattened Bull and a Green Meal – through a careful close-reading that seeks to unpack major textual allusions between them. Using some of Bakhtin’s holistic concepts, which outline the relations of prose and ideology, the article explores Bialik’s poetics and defines him as a ‘hyperbolic storyteller’ who seeks expansion both in his phrases and in the world they depict. By using trauma theory, the article examines these textual links as repetitive acting out of events, both biographical and national.

בן-יהודה, עמרי. “היפרבולות והפגן: על כמה אלוזיות של ביאליק לעצמו”. מחקרי ירושלים בספרות עברית כז (2014): 155 ואילך.

Cite: Merin, Intertextuality and Cross-Gender Identification in Kahana-Carmon’s Early Prose

Merin, Tamar. “The Secret That Makes a Hero of the Weak: Intertextuality and Cross-Gender Identification in Amalia Kahana-Carmon’s Early Prose.” Nashim 25 (2013): 89-113.



This article explores the early prose fiction of Amalia Kahana-Carmon, one of the “founding mothers” of contemporary Israeli literature. Lacking strong literary foremothers, Kahana-Carmon established her formative place in Israeli literature through an intertextual process based on crossgender identification with a male literary tradition which is thereby opened up to a new reading. The article examines the cross-gender intertextual process sketched out by Kahana-Carmon in her early prose, focusing on the story that became, in time, the one most identified with her: “Ne‘ima Sasson kotevet shirim” (Ne‘ima Sasson writes poems). As I would argue, the complex, gender-loaded literary dialogue with the Hebrew canon outlined in “Ne‘ima Sasson” laid the foundation for Kahana-Carmon’s poetics. This is a poetics (or, rather—ars-poetica) based on an ongoing confrontation with the male canon of Hebrew literature, a canon with which Kahana-Carmon identifies while at the same time exposing its gender-fluid aspects, which were not recognized by her male peers or by Hebrew literature scholarship.