Bulletin: Israeli literature and Israel in Literature

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Bulletin: Israeli 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 Article: Shikhmanter, Contemporary Israeli Children’s and Young Adults’ Historical Fiction

Shikhmanter, Rima. “History as Politics: Contemporary Israeli Children’s and Young Adults’ Historical Fiction and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” nternational Research in Children’s Literature 9.1 (2016): 83-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2016.0184

 

Abstract

Historical fiction serves as a powerful source for the dissemination of historical images and the determination of collective memory. These roles are of particular significance in the context of severe political conflicts. In these cases historical fiction shapes the narrative of the conflict, explains its source and central events, and therefore forms the readers’ political stances towards the conflict and its consequences.

This article examines the role contemporary Jewish Israeli historical fiction for young adults plays in presenting the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to young readers. It discusses two of the political perspectives this fiction addresses: the traditional hegemonic narrative and the left-wing narrative. Associated with the right-wing sector of Israeli politics, the former promotes the Zionist myth and seeks to justify the necessity and morality of its premises while ignoring and/or dismissing the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative. The lack of a consensual Jewish historical narrative that does not negate the Palestinian narrative on the one hand, and the ongoing public delegitimisation of the left-wing on the other, forces historical-fiction authors to place their plots at a historical remove, locating them in other places and times.

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: 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 Article: Marienberg-Milikowsky, Transmitting Tradition in the Work of Haim Be’er

Marienberg-Milikowsky, Itay. “Upon a Certain Place: On the Dialectics of Transmitting Tradition in the Work of Haim Be’er.” Zutot (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/18750214-12341276
 
Abstract

Haim Beʾer is recognized by Hebrew literary criticism as a writer who conducts a profound dialogue between ancient Jewish texts and modern Jewish-Israeli culture. This article offers a critical appraisal of this view. Through a reading of Beʾer’s novel Lifnei ha-makom (Upon a Certain Place, 2007), the article offers a new way of looking at how Beʾer sees the relation between old and new. Instead of mediating between tradition and modernity and translating the old for a generation that has partly severed ties with it, Lifnei ha-makom undermines the very mediation that is so much identified with Beʾer’s work. Beʾer’s novel boldly examines what it means to live a Jewish life almost devoid of books. The role of tradition, in this scheme, is to be present in the world of the new generation without undergoing interpretation. The article links between this attitude and deep processes in contemporary Israeli culture.

 

 

 

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

New Article: Ofengenden, Therapy and Satire in Contemporary Israeli Film and Literature

Ofengenden, Ari. “National Identity in Global Times: Therapy and Satire in Contemporary Israeli Film and Literature.” The Comparatist 39 (2015): 294-312.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1103877

 

Extract

To conclude let us step back and look at the effects of all of these transformation narratives together. These and other novels and films engage in a sustained reusing of the past and successfully transform the way people articulate their identity. They do this with an empathic retelling of the national story like Oz, with the German or Arab Israeli other as in the film Walk on Water and Arab Labor, or with a crazed narrator like Kaniuk’s and Castel-Bloom’s. Therapeutic interventions end with a working through of displacement and immigration, a heightened awareness of the effects of the Holocaust, and a new appreciation of the creative potential of Jewish identity and culture. Self-critical satire breaks open a monolithic national identity, exposing its constructed nature and calls for creative transformations. We can now ask why these two narratives are so central to the way literature and film re-imagine national identity in contemporary times. I think that the answer lies most prominently in globalization. International flows of culture, goods, and people help strengthen civil society in its critique and parody of state violence and state agents. Somewhat paradoxically, globalization also leads to a demand for specifically national narratives in the international market. In a recent talk, Salman Rushdie pointed out that contemporary writers are increasingly asked to mediate the story of a nation for an international audience. Indeed that is what his own Midnight’s Children did for India, what J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace did for South Africa, Toni Morrison’s novels for the U.S., and Oz and Grossman for Israel. Thus we get narratives that are called to represent the nation on an international market but heal, critique, or poke fun at it at the same time. The system in which Hebrew literature finds itself has radically changed. Previously this system or field was constructed as a national field; now the field is constituted as semi-global. Some actors achieve international success while others remain domestic. Some mediate and explain the national story on the global stage while others parody the nation in order to change it.

Israeli national-cultural discourse is not a sole expression of some underlying economic forces that determine its content. However, its expression is a result of creative adaptation to economical and political pressures and opportunities that have become more and more global. Mainstream literature and culture has responded by articulating narratives that simultaneously reflect feelings of lack of political agency and an empathic apologetic self-representation for the global other. Minor literature in Israel saw an opportunity in the weakening of the state to articulate a critique in the form of parody that attempts to reconfigure national identity.

 

 

 

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: 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.

 

 

New Article: Ahmed & Elsharkawy, The Potential of Iraqi Cultural Identity within Two Generations

Ahmed, Mohamed A. H., and Ashraf Elsharkawy. “Tel Aviv Mizrah. The Potential of Iraqi Cultural Identity within Two Generations.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.3 (2015): 430-45.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1032024

 

Abstract

Before immigrating to Israel, first-generation Iraqi Jews were deeply attached to their identity as Mizrahi Jews. Their mother tongue was Arabic and they had grown up in an oriental environment. Therefore, it was not easy for them to adopt the Euro-Israeli identity that the dominant Ashkenazi-European stratum in Israel compelled them to accept. Despite strong Westernizing tendencies in Israeli society, the first generation of Iraqi Jewish immigrants maintained strong links to the Iraqi customs and traditions they had acquired in Iraq, particularly with regard to the musical folklore and oriental cuisine. On the other hand, second-generation Iraqi Jews were more familiar with Israeli society than their parents; they grew up in Israel and learned Hebrew in Israeli schools along with Ashkenazi Jews and other ethnic groups. This paper establishes connections between the historical realities of Iraqi Jewish immigrants and the literary representation of their world in the trilogy Tel-Aviv Mizrah (Tel Aviv East) written in 2003 by the Iraqi Jewish author Shimon Ballas, through a comparison of Ballas’s literary vision with the historical realities of Iraqi Jewish identity in Israel over the course of two generations.

 

 

New Article: Katz, On Yoram Kaniuk’s Peripatetic Palmaḥnik

Katz, Stephen. “After the Shooting: On Yoram Kaniuk’s Peripatetic Palmaḥnik.” Shofar 34.1 (2015): 27-56.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v034/34.1.katz.html

 

Abstract

Wounded in body and spirit following his participation in Israel’s War of Independence, Yoram Kaniuk’s (1930–2013) protagonist of several key and stylistically sophisticated America-centered novels escapes to the New World. There, seeking a haven for recuperation and finding his identity, he exhibits some of the unheroic qualities that are a manifestation of his upbringing, of the mythological and unsavory sabra, or are the mirror of the fragmented social circle of acquaintances he makes in New York. Seeking an identity, he attempts to own the New World, doing so by attempts at conquest—of women, financial stability, or climbing the ladder of social hierarchy. In terms of women, he fails at exhibiting a lasting commitment with any. He fails at maintaining a successful career, while the “aristocracy” with which he affiliates turns out to be flawed and decaying. So while he meets some of New York’s rich and famous, he finds no model whom to emulate among them. None of these avenues bring any succor to him emotionally, spiritually, or physically from the trauma of the war memories that continue to haunt him and as he continues to search for a place to call home. Realizing the futility of it all, the protagonist escapes to other realms, mostly by returning to Israel in the expectation of finding a modus vivendi there with his memories and the reality of the new society.