Identity and Modern Israeli Literature
By Risa Domb
This book explores through literature the long and complex evolution of Jewish identity in Israel and the central role that language, ideology, memory, and culture have played in that journey. Language is possibly the most important component of any collective identity. Indeed, any nation can be better understood through its imaginative literature and never more so than in the case of Israeli literature, whose story runs in parallel with that of the State of Israel and with Zionism. The political task of nationalism directed the course of Israeli literature into a distinct national literature and in turn the literature participated in the formation of the nation. Language became inseparable from identity. But whose Hebrew is it? Through key texts by such authors as Y. H. Brenner, S. Y. Agnon, Nathan Shaham, Yoram Kaniuk, Aharon Appelfeld, A. B. Yehoshua, Gabriela Avigur-Rotem and Sami Michael, Risa Domb explores the connections between language, ideology, memory, culture, and identity, and asks whether ideology and identity are on an inescapable collision course.
Publication Date: 11/1/2006