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Voices of War, Illness, and Dream

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 54, 2013
pp. 287-298 | 10.1353/hbr.2013.0013

Abstract

Abstract:

The article explores the acoustic (aural) dimension of David Grossman’s novel To the End of the Land. Positing as one of the protagonists of the unusual love triangle shaped in the novel a “child prodigy,” who plans to become a writer of radio plays due to his attraction to and fascination with the human voice, Grossman gives a unique, mimetic expression to the voice throughout the novel. The story opens with a scene permeated by the presence of voices, as the three protagonists, who will later make up the love triangle, meet in complete darkness, unable to see one another and forced to only hear their counterparts. The centrality of the human voice in the novel reaches its peak in the Yom Kippur War, when Avram, enamored of the voice, documents his desperate situation while making up an apocalyptic radio play which is heard on the army radio networks. Serving as the novel’s soundtrack is the life story of Ora, the feminine edge of the erotic triangle. Ora, light in Hebrew, also appears in daylight to the reader and to the novel’s other protagonists, but she is made present mostly by her voice. The article reveals Grossman’s strategies of making the voice heard through the written text, focusing on the covert struggle between sight and sound in this unique novel.



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