Critics and readers of Aharon Appelfeld's writings have not generally considered his work in relation to the development of Hebrew literary modernism, seeing it instead as embedded primarily in the European belletristic tradition. This essay explores the ways in which Appelfeld situates himself in relation to the Hebrew neoromantic and modernist traditions. An analysis of his fictional and nonfictional texts reveals that he remains actively engaged in a critique of the heroic literary tradition exemplified by Bialik. Appelfeld's innovative aesthetics embrace the formal experimentation and decentering political views of the Dor hamedina generation, even as he adapts Hebrew modernism to the task of public mourning in the aftermath of the Shoah. In spare modernist prose, he succeeds in conveying the unprecedented historical "shattering of the self " that at once links him to, and isolates him from, the Hebrew modernist tradition.


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pp. 405-448
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