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Grossman After 2000: An Ambivalent Complaint in Nine Parts

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 54, 2013
pp. 299-309 | 10.1353/hbr.2013.0018



This unconventional essay attempts to translate the author’s overall negative opinion of David Grossman’s 2008 novel, To the End of the Land, into larger claims about Israeli society and culture since 2000, as well as Grossman’s place within it. The author’s negative opinion of the novel stems from what he views as its tediousness and flawed narrative structure. Moreover, the author argues that though To the End of the Land represents a breakthrough for Grossman in some senses, that overall Grossman here continues recycling themes and motifs that have been common in his work for almost two decades. However, changes in the Israeli context post-2000—among them a new consensus regarding the inescapable nature of Israeli suffering—find Grossman employing these themes and motifs to different effect. The author claims that these elements in this novel give voice to Grossman’s preoccupation with Israeli suffering, thus making it an unusually representative text in post-2000 Israel.