Language Politics: The Boundaries of Homeland and Translingual Israeli Literature
Abstract

Abstract:

Historically, Zionism posited a fundamental connection between Hebrew language and Israeli culture and identity. Recent developments in Israeli literature, in particular the rise to prominence of both Israeli authors writing in non-Jewish languages and Hebrew writers living abroad, have begun to test the link between language and homeland. This article reads a recent work of translingual Israeli literature in English, Shani Boianjiu’s 2012 novel The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, through an earlier fictional and theoretical work in English by the Israeli writer Rela Mazali. Through their approach to translingualism, these texts question the naturalness of the assumed bond between language and homeland and offer a contemporary challenge to the Zionist negation of exile.