After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture / Edition 1

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Besides grounding Middle Eastern literary studies in ongoing theoretical debates, and also serving as a wide-ranging introduction to inaccessible and neglected literature, After Jews and Arabs will compel a revision of Jewish studies by placing contemporary Israeli culture within its Middle Eastern context and the terms of colonial, postcolonial, postcolonial, and multicultural discourse.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The thesis in this difficult but important first book by Alcalay is that conventional modes of interpreting Western civilization--its history and belief in its own superiority to other cultures--have left little room for the complex play of Semitic and non-Semitic culture in the Levant, and for the roles of Arabs and Jews in the formation of European cultures. Alcalay, an associate professor of classical literature at Queens College (N.Y.), writes about the West's neglect of Jewish writers and thinkers from the Arab world and the Levant, about the suppression of Sephardic culture by a vehemently Eurocentric Zionism and about the relationship of ``the native Jew to a native space, namely the Levant,'' as a counterbalance to the myth of the Jew as an eternally wandering ``other.'' The book is also a valuable introduction to Levantine Hebrew and Arabic literatures, both medieval and modern, that have received little or no critical attention in English. One can only hope that this book will trigger interest in the work of Hebrew novelists Yitzhaq Shami and Yehuda Burla, essayist Eliyahu Eliachar and dozens of other writers cited by Alcalay, so that these works will become available in the U.S. (Nov.)
Alcalay (Hebrew literature, City U. of New York) argues that the very elements of the historical relations between Jews and Arabs, and the nature of the Levant itself, provide tools for resolving the current situation in the Middle East. His sections cover discontinued lines--drafts for an itinerary, a garden enclosed-- the geography of time, and history's noise--the beginning of the end. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816621552
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Charting the Terrain
I People of the Book
II Double Standards
III Crossing Borders
IV Europe and the Middle East
V Language and Cultural Difference
VI Nativity and Exile
VII Reimagining History
1 Discontinued Lines: Drafts for an Itinerary
I Militant Archeology: Dispossessing Native Jews
II Gazing at Palestine: Yosef Haim Brenner and Albert Antebbi
III 1938: Beirut to Jerusalem via Damascus/An Itinerary for Edmond Jabs
IV Cairo: From Umm Kulthum to Nawal Saadawi
V Discourses of the City
VI Beirut: Setting the Standards
VII Beirut and the Poetics of Disaster
VIII Jerusalem and the Crusader Man
IX Jerusalem: The Islamic City
X Turning the Page: Back to Damascus
2 A Garden Enclosed: The Geography of Time
I Traveling through Glass Walls: Defining the Levant
II S. D. Goitein and the Geniza World
III Cities and Texts
IV The Common Currency of Verse
V Dunash Ben Labrat and Classical Sephardic Poetry
VI Yehuda al-Harizi and Old Metaphors
VII The Scarlet Thread of Song: From Samuel Hanagid to Yehezkel Hai Albeg
VIII The Spanish Inquisition and Jewish Humanism
IX Missing Pages: Women's Poetry in the Levant
3 History's Noise: The Beginning of the End
I Colonialism and Literary Forms
II Traveling in Time: Mordekhai HaKohen and Nahum Slouschz
III Yitzhaq Shami, Yehuda Burla, and the Hebrew Novel
IV Keys to the Garden: Albert Cohen and the Levantine Novel
V The Alphabet of Nightmare
4 Postscript: "To end, to begin again"
I 1948: The End of an Era
II New Hebrew: Language and Ideology
III The New Order
IV Shimeon Ballas, Sami Mikhael, and the New Israeli Novel
V Israel/Palestine and the New Levant
VI Recreating Memory: Alexandria and Baghdad in Israel
VII Reclaiming Nativity: The Poetry of Shelley Elkayam, Ronny Someck, Tikva Levi, and Sami Shalom Chetrit
VIII Anton Shammas and Israeli Hebrew as the Language of Exile
IX Envisioning a Future: The Covenant of Sarah and Hagar
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