This study deals with the dynamics of secularization in Shlonsky’s poetry. Contrary to classical descriptions of secularization, this article provides a nuanced description of the way in which Shlonsky’s poetry performs secularization in three broad stages: the heretical-pioneering stage, the urban alienization stage, and the mourning over tradition stage. In the first heretical stage, Shlonsky negates religious institutions and calls for an individualist spirituality based on the inner-conscious on the one hand and the secular myth of socialist pioneering on the other. In the second stage of secularization, the same socialist-pioneering myths are secularized and the poet looks to experience modernity in isolation without the support of nation and class and without collective political myths. In the third stage, Shlonsky returns to tradition in order to examine the differences between secular and religious time and to mourn over the lost world of Jewish tradition. The analysis of the secularizing process in this influential Hebrew poet is essential in order to relate the complexities of secularization in this crucial stage of Zionist culture.


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pp. 329-350
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