Although he spent almost all of his artistic career in the post-1948 state of Israel, S. Yizhar hardly wrote about this era. This article explores Yizhar’s persistent return to the year of 1948 in Israel/Palestine. I suggest that this return entails the textual formation of a nonnovelistic narration of continuous expectation and deferral that rejects the present time of action and develops nonfactual, speculative temporality. This temporality is at the core of Yizhar’s “1948-time,” engaging a potential rupture in historical time and positing an active refusal of the post-1948 Israeli time of sovereignty. Examining the literary working of this speculative temporality in one passage of Yizhar’s 1949 novella “Hirbet Hiz‘ah,” I show how reading Yizhar’s work from this “1948-time” might alter the way we conceptualize the novella’s subject matter and political meaning. Ultimately, I ask what might happen if we start thinking about Hebrew literature from the vantage point of this 1948-time.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 38-54
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.