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).





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: 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).





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.