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Place and Ideology in Contemporary Hebrew Literature

Karen Grumberg is assistant professor of modern Hebrew literature in the department of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Publication Year: 2011

Karen Grumberg sets down anchor in contemporary theories of the vernacular landscape, then embarks on subtle close readings of recent Israeli fiction that demonstrates how literature in practice can complicate those discourses.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xil

As I complete this manuscript a week after a cease-fire ends the Gaza War, Gazans attempt to clear streets filled with debris, to reopen shops, to rebuild homes, schools, hospitals, prisons, police stations, factories, and mosques, bombed because they allegedly harbored arms caches or were situated...


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pp. xl-xlvii

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Introduction: Places of Ideology and Ideologies of Place

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pp. 1-25

In her novel Ha-sefer he-hadash shel orli kastel-bloom (Taking the trend; literally, The new book by Orly Castel-Bloom) (1998), the Israeli author Orly Castel-Bloom introduces us to a heroine who breathlessly follows trend after trend in search of even the most superfi cial sense of belonging...

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1. Zionist Places Against the Desert Wilderness

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pp. 26-75

Zionist places are, first and foremost, spaces that have been constructed or designed in the service of Zionist ideology. They establish particular spatial relations that affirm and represent Zionist values and self-conception. The kibbutz, a site created for the convergence of the collectivist and agricultural...

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2. An Architecture of Isolation

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pp. 76-122

As the complexity that exists even within the two seemingly simple categories of “inner” and “outer” space suggests, Jews positioned well within the “inner” space of Israeli society find themselves feeling claustrophobic at times, leading to a rejection of the restricted place categories established by...

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3. The No-Man’s-Land of the Israeli Palestinian

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pp. 123-157

In his poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at It,” Anton Shammas expresses a multi-layered uncertainty: “I do not know. / A language beyond this, / And a language beyond this. / And I hallucinate in no-man’s-land” (1979). Shammas sketches the site of his struggle to come to terms with the incoherence...

4. Sight and the Diaspora Chronotope

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pp. 158-199

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5. Toward a Subversive Spatiality

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pp. 200-246

The crisis of subjectivity discussed in chapters 2 and 3 can evoke a relationship with space that is firmly grounded in memories of the pre-Israeli European past. The defiantly historical spatial relation present in Hoffmann’s works, despite its quiet resistance to the Zionist denigration of...

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pp. 247-254

In Eran Riklis’s film Ets limon (Lemon tree, 2008), loosely based on a true story, a lemon grove that has been in a Palestinian woman’s family for half a century becomes one of the film’s protagonists. Salma Zidane, a lonely widow, earns a meager living from the lemons. Her bond to the...


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pp. 255-266


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pp. 267-287

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815650553
E-ISBN-10: 0815650558
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632597
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632592

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1