Contemporary Israeli Fiction in Translation: Israeli Identity Between Past and Future
Fall 2007 not offered
|Certificates: Jewish and Israel Studies
|Course Cluster: Jewish and Israel Studies
Literary constructions of Israeli identity can project onto a particular narrative national allegory; they can use the fracturing of narrative form to deconstruct or pluralize such allegories; or they can, by resorting to more privatized explorations or Jewish histories excluded from the Zionist landscape, protest against or even ignore the demand to situate themselves within or adjacent to that allegorical space altogether. This course will examine yet another possibility that we might see as synthesizing and transcending those just enumerated: the construction of diverse and shared Israeli pasts through the constitution, even self-reflexive enactment, of a thoroughly individualized Israeli present. We will focus, that is, on novels that find their literary activity to be nothing more than the generation of a possible future out of the present's participation in the representation of the past. Such a project resumes the process of enriching, critiquing, exhausting, and renewing the originary Zionist narrative of the exceptional form taken by the normalization of Jewish life. We could suggest that the project of normalizing the Jewish people inevitably had the paradoxical effect of emphasizing everything exceptional about Jewish history, society, and destiny, but, even more, that, in a postmodern era predicated upon decentering norms, in a further paradox this discovery would in fact be the normalization in question. The Zionist narrative, in that case, needs less to be contested, dismantled, or deconstructed than to have its own founding paradox made generative. The question contemporary Israeli fiction would then raise is not, Which narrative? or even, Whose narrative? but Which other possible narratives?
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Haim Be'er, THE PURE ELEMENT OF TIME
Amir Gutfreund, OUR HOLOCAUST
Emile Habiby, SARAYA, THE OGRE'S DAUGHTER
Yoel Hoffman, THE SHUNRA AND THE SCHMETTERLING
Haim Sabato, ALEPPO TALES
|Examinations and Assignments:
5-6 shorter response papers, final take home exam.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
This course does not count towards the Religion major.
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests
|Total Submitted Requests: 0
|1st Ranked: 0
|2nd Ranked: 0
|3rd Ranked: 0
|4th Ranked: 0