Bookbeat: July 2008

Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern HebrewHere and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew

by Todd Hasak-Lowy,
Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures
(Syracuse University Press, 2008)
Available through Amazon

The emergence of Zionism in the late nineteenth century and the evolution of Zionist society in Palestine were profoundly influenced by the Hebrew literature of the day. As Todd Hasak-Lowy cogently argues in this book, Hebrew authors wrote with the belief that accurately representing Jewish society—including its history—in their texts would both record the past and establish its future course.

Hasak-Lowy traces the tensions between the extraliterary—the historical, social, and political—and the literary—the aesthetic, formal, and stylistic—in Hebrew fiction. Focusing on canonical texts by S. Y. Abramovitz, Y. H. Brenner, S. Y. Agnon, and S. Yizhar, the author establishes how modern Hebrew writers galvanized Jewish nationalism in nineteenth-century Europe and later articulated its character in twentieth-century Palestine.

- Publisher

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