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The Zionist Paradox
Hebrew Literature and Israeli Identity
Yigal Schwartz; Michal Sapir, trans.

The Schusterman Series in Israel Studies

2014 • 352 pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Jewish Literary Criticism / Jewish History / History of Israel & Palestine

$40.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-601-2
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-58465-894-8

$39.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-602-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

The Zionist Paradox is a must read for anyone interested in the complex understanding of Israeli literature and its exploration of Zionist mythologies of time... [continued in Reviews below]”—Yael Zerubavel, professor of Jewish studies and history, Rutgers,

A comprehensive reinterpretation of the development of Hebrew and Israeli literature against the backdrop of the Zionist ideal

Many contemporary Israelis suffer from a strange condition. Despite the obvious successes of the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel, tension persists, with a collective sense that something is wrong and should be better. This cognitive dissonance arises from the disjunction between “place” (defined as what Israel is really like) and “Place” (defined as the imaginary community comprised of history, myth, and dream).

Through the lens of five major works in Hebrew by writers Abraham Mapu (1853), Theodor Herzl (1902), Yosef Luidor (1912), Moshe Shamir (1948), and Amos Oz (1963), Schwartz unearths the core of this paradox as it evolves over one hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1960s.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

The Zionist Paradox is a must read for anyone interested in the complex understanding of Israeli literature and its exploration of Zionist mythologies of time and space. . . Schwartz’s analysis challenges the reader to rethink the ways in which these literary texts confront and reshape Jewish society and collective identities, the construction of a Jewish national space, and Israelis’ relationship to the homeland.”—Yael Zerubavel, professor of Jewish studies and history, Rutgers

"[Schwartz] provides sensitive new perceptions of familiar texts through cartographic readings. . . . This study . . . can help readers appreciate the the special role of Hebrew literature in Israeli society and the ways it has tussled mightily with multifaceted issues of identity and purpose. . . . Schwartz's book presents richly detailed readings . . . of texts that have had tremendous impact and continue to reward careful scrutiny. It's well worth it to foray into the intricacies of his analysis."—AJS Review

“Yigal Schwartz’s pathbreaking book on modern Hebrew literature is a daring, original, and very readable study of many crucial aspects of our contemporary literature. Schwartz offers a point of view that combines deep love for his subject with subtle critical observations. This book is an eye-opener for anyone who loves Hebrew literature and, in fact, for anyone who loves literature.”—Amos Oz

YIGAL SCHWARTZ is professor of Hebrew literature and director of Heksherim: The Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture, Ben Gurion University.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:12:52 -0500