The Child as Collective Subconscious: The Shoah in David Grossman's 'Ayen Erekh: 'Ahavah' and Yehudit Katzir's "Schlaffstunde"
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- University of Nebraska Press
- Volume 23, Number 2, Winter 2005
- pp. 65-79
- Additional Information
The past three decades have witnessed a proliferation of treatments of the Shoah by Israeli writers born after the event who explore the impact the Holocaust has had on their society. In two such works, "Momik," the opening section of David Grossman's novel, See Under: "Love" (1986), and a short story by Yehudit Katzir, "Schlaffstunde" that appeared in her collection Closing the Sea (1989), the authors choose to do so through the prism of child fantasies about the Land of Over There. In each work, but to varying degrees based on distance from the event, the child protagonists seek to come to terms with the terrors that so visibly weigh on the minds and hearts of the primary adult figures in their lives. Beyond any autobiographical relevance for authors growing up in the 60s and 70s, these depictions may also serve as a figure for contemporaneous Israeli society, when discussion of the Holocaust was largely suppressed and its legacy perceived as a contradiction of the heroic myth so inextricably bound up with the rise of the State. In these works, use of the child voice may thus be connected with the search for alternative modes counter to the monolithic claims of the Zionist epic narrative that have served to silence the small, individual voice.