Inextricably Bonded: Israeli Arab and Jewish Writers Re-Visioning Culture

Inextricably Bonded: Israeli Arab and Jewish Writers Re-Visioning Culture

by Rachel Feldhay Brenner

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    Despite the tragic reality of the continuing Israeli-Arab conflict and deep-rooted beliefs that the chasm between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs is unbridgeable, this book affirms the bonds between the two communities. Rachel Feldhay Brenner demonstrates that the literatures of both ethnic groups defy the ideologies that have obstructed dialogue between the two peoples.
    Brenner argues that literary critics have ignored the variety and the dissent in the novels of both Arab and Jewish writers in Israel, giving them interpretations that embrace the politics of exclusion and conform with Zionist ideology. Brenner offers insightful new readings that compare fiction by Jewish writers Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, and others with fiction written in Hebrew by such Arab-Israeli writers as Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas. This parallel analysis highlights the moral and psychological dilemmas faced by both the Jewish victors and the Arab vanquished, and Brenner suggests that the hope for release from the historical trauma lies—on both sides—in reaching an understanding with and of the adversary.
    Drawing upon the theories of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Levinas, and others, Inextricably Bonded is an innovative and illuminating examination of literary dissent from dominant ideology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299189631
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 04/01/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Rachel Feldhay Brenner is professor of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of Writing as Resistance, Assimilation and Assertion, and A.M. Klein, The Father of Canadian Jewish Literature.

Table of Contents


Prologue: Israeli Literatures and Their Prescence in Zionist Culture

Part 1. Zionism and the Discourses of Negation: Is Post-Zionism Really “Post”?
    Introduction: Toward Rediscovery of the Present in the Past
    Chapter 1. Zionist Voices of Dissent: Ahad Ha’Am and Martin Buber
    Chapter 2. The Zionists: Colonized Colonizers
    Chapter 3. The Land as Homeland?

Part 2. Dissenting Literatures and the Literary Canon
    Introduction: Modern Hebrew Literature and Its Ideological Boundaries
    Chapter 4. Israeli Jewish Fiction of Dissent, Its Writers, and the Canon
    Chapter 5. Israeli Arab Fiction and the Mainstream: Dissent and Strategies of Canonization
    Chapter 6. The Canon and the “True Heart of Europe”

Part 3. Discourses of Bonding
    Introduction: Toward a Redifinition of History
    Chapter 7. The Traumas of Victory and Defeat: S. Yizhar’s “Hirbet Hizah” and Emile Habiby’s Pessoptimist
    Chapter 8. Bonds of Confession: A. B. Yehoshua’s “Facing the Forests” and Atallah Mansour’s In a New Light
    Chapter 9. Descent into Barbarism: Amos Oz’s “Nomad and Viper”
    Chapter 10. Melancholia and Telos: Amos Oz’s My Michael and Emile Habiby’s Saraya, Daughter of the Gouhl
    Chapter 11. Tales That Ought to Be Told: David Grossman’s Smile of the Lamb and Anton Shamma’s Arabesques

Epilogue: Longing for Hope


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