"A Story or a Bullet between the Eyes" Etgar Keret: Repetitiveness, Morality, and Postmodernism

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 58, 2017
pp. 425-443

National Association of Professors of Hebrew colophon


The central strategy in Etgar Keret's entire body of work is the combination of and the confrontation between two poetic moves: the looping repetition of narrative scenes, which seems mechanical, and the sudden appearance of an unusual conscious event, which disrupts the mechanism of repetition. The looping repetition is perceived here as a "narrative epidemic" that is hostile to any individual human performance. The appearance of the unusual event, which is seen here as a "narrative mutation," creates a caesura in which a humanistic existential space, whose realization is a task imposed on the "right readers," exists for an instant. These "right readers" must recognize this caesura, mark it, and then enlarge and expand it, and by doing so halt the looping movement and create a moral space, if only for a brief moment.