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.
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About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments
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