Trends in israeli literature

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Trends in Israeli Literature June Rodil Rachel Eccleston Pre-State of Israel Literature Background • Hasidism (Roughly 18 Century) • Largely Inspired by Eastern European Jews • Focused on Spirituality & Prayer with Aim of Moral Teaching th • Haskalah (Roughly 19 Century) “Hebrew Enlightenment” Move towards the importance of Reason Jewish Literary/Cultural Entrance into European Society/Civilization Neo-Biblical Style– Limited Vocabulary (~5,000 words) th • • • • • Into the 20th Century- WWI • Beginnings of Unity of Language • Expansion of Hebrew Vocabulary • Flexibility of Themes– “Hebrew Romanticism?” Pre-State of Israel Literature o Major contemporary spiritual concerns o loss of tradition, faith, and identity o inner uncertainties o tragedy and the grotesque o Conflict between traditional Jewish life/language and the modern world o Immigrant writers o Novels, short stories, poetry Pre-State of Israel Authors • Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970) • The Bridal Canopy (1931) • Yesteryear (1945) • Hayyim Nahman Bialik (1873-1934) • Poems (1901) • Poems (1908) • Yosef Haim Brenner (1881-1921) • In Winter (1904) • Breakdown and Bereavement (1920) 1940s & 1950s: War of Independence Generation • Conflicted between individualism and commitment to • • • • • • • • society and State Social realism “Palmach Generation” Writers involved in war directly Influenced “heroic mold” called for by times Starting point of Hebrew/Israeli literary and cultural activity Relationship between person and space, countrymen and the Land of Israel Stream of Consciousness Novels, essays, novellas, poetry 1940s & 1950s Authors • S Yizhar (1916-) • Days of Ziklag (1958) • Midnight Convoy (1950) • Haim Gouri (1923-) “Israel’s Poet” • Flowers of Fire, Years of Fire (1949) • Poems of the Seal (1954) • Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) • Now and in Other Days (1955) 1960s & 1970s: The Generation of the State • • • • • • • • • followed less ideological patterns wrote more about the individual psychological realism, allegory and symbolism speculation and skepticism regarding conventions Searching for “real individual” rather than conceptual ideal Reaching out to Jewish Diaspora rather than just State of Israel Existentialist struggle Fiction, non-fiction, journalism, poetry, drama Works translated into languages other than Hebrew/Aramaic 1960s & 1970s Authors • Amos Oz (1939-) • My Michael (1968) • The Hill of Evil Counsel (1976) • Avraham B Yehoshua (1936-) • The Death of the Old Man (1962) • An Evening in May (1975) • Yehoshua Kenaz (1937-) • After the Holidays (1964) • The Great Woman of the Dreams (1973) 1980s & 1990s • • • • Explosion of literary activity Focus moves toward audience and individual and away from author Holocaust Detective Fiction, Suspense, Humor, Romance, Graphic Novels and Children’s Literature Genres Develop • Emergence of women authors • General Topics • Women’s Role in Jewish Tradition and Zionists Enterprise • Emerging themes • Arab-Christian Writers • The Ultra Orthodox World • Jerusalem’s Hassidic Courts • The Place of Immigrants from Arab Countries • Democracy & Righteousness During Constant Challenges 1980s & 1990s Authors • Aharon Appelfeld (1932-) • At One and the Same (1985) • Lost (1995) • David Grossman (1954-) • The Smile of the Lamb (1983) • The Book of Intimate Grammar (1991) • Savyon Liebrecht (1948) • Apples From the Desert (1986) • It’s All Greek to Me, He Said to Her (1992) Late 1990s & The New Millennium: The Post-Zionists • Younger Writers with universalistic themes • Alienation, Surrealism, Idiosyncrasies • Shift to Less Spiritual Concerns– The Good Life and the Pursuit of Happiness • Anarchic, Nihilistic, Iconoclastic • A More “European” Approach in Literary Style The Post-Zionist Authors • Etgar Keret (1967-) • The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God & Other Stories (2001) • Pizzeria Kamikaze (2004) • Esty G Hayim (1963-) • Our Second Life (1999) • Something Good Will Happen Tomorrow (2003) • Alex Epstein (1971-) • The Mountaineer’s Beloved (1999) • The Odyssey (2001) [...]... Life and the Pursuit of Happiness • Anarchic, Nihilistic, Iconoclastic • A More “European” Approach in Literary Style The Post-Zionist Authors • Etgar Keret (1967-) • The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God & Other Stories (2001) • Pizzeria Kamikaze (2004) • Esty G Hayim (1963-) • Our Second Life (1999) • Something Good Will Happen Tomorrow (2003) • Alex Epstein (1971-) • The Mountaineer’s Beloved (1999) •
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