Times Literary Supplement
Modern Hebrew Fictionby Gershon Shaked
Gershon Shaked's history of modern Hebrew fiction traces the emergence and development of a literature "against all odds" -- from its European roots in the 1880s, when it had neither a country nor a spoken language, to the flowering of a literary culture on Israeli soil from the founding of the State through the 1990s. The product of more than twenty years of research, it is unique in its scope, profiling four generations of Hebrew writers from Mendele Mokher Seforim, I.L. Peretz, and Haim Nahman Bialik through Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Aharon Appelfeld, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, Amos Oz, and A. B. Yehoshua, to the recent writings of David Grossman, Meir Shalev, and Orly Castel-Bloom.
Through detailed discussions of themes and style in specific texts, Shaked conveys the richness of the Hebrew literary tradition. At the same time, through biographical surveys, historical observations, and sociocultural and political analyses, he illuminates the relationship of these writings to the context in which they were produced, revealing the complex intertextual play between Hebrew literature and life.
Times Literary Supplement
"In this abridgement of his definitive five-volume work in Hebrew (1977–99), Shaked (emer., Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem) first details the war of the languages between Yiddish, the polyglot Germanic language of Jews in the Diaspora, and Hebrew, the traditional sacred language of prayer. Though he barely mentions world literary figures like Sholem Aleichem and I.B. Singer (who wrote mainly in Yiddish), he discusses those few writers who wrote significantly in both Hebrew and Yiddish. Shaked gives both a general picture of historical trends and conditions and acute, succinct explications of the best works by the most notable writers. He catalogs four distinct generations of Hebrew writers—from the European-born of the 1880s to those born in post, 1948 Israel. He devotes full chapters only to Mendele Mokher Seforim and S.Y. Agnon. A detailed index and bibliography, a source list of Hebrew literary journals and newspapers, and a glossary of Hebrew terms and historical references supplement this volume, which is recommended for significant collections in comparative literature and Judaica serving upper-division undergraduates and above." —D. S. Gochberg, Michigan State University, 2001jan CHOICE.
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Meet the Author
Gershon Shaked is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to many works in Hebrew, his English language publications include *The Shadows Within: Essays on Modern Jewish Writers*, *Shmuel Yosef Agnon: A Revolutionary Traditionalist*, and* Eight Great Hebrew Short Novels* (coedited with Alan Lelchuk). Shaked is the recipient of the Israel Prize and the Bialik Prize.
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