Minoritarian Interventions and National Identity: Reading Oz With Kashua
Abstract

Abstract:

This article attempts to read Amos Oz’s celebrated autobiography, A Tale of Love and Darkness, with Sayed Kashua’s autobiographical texts Dancing Arabs and Let it be Morning, as well as his television sitcom Arab Labor. Differences between the two authors are immediately apparent. More than perhaps any other writer, Oz represents the Zionist core of the political and literary establishment in Israel, as his autobiographical novel depicts one of the most important families in the early Israeli intelligentsia. Conversely, Kashua is a Palestinian Israeli and thus part of the most marginalized minority in Israeli society. I would like to complicate this picture of center and periphery by bringing out the major writer in Kashua and the minor writer in Oz. It is also my intention to expose the complimentary and reciprocal relations between the positions that they occupy. Thus, the article attempts to argue against a simple one-to-one correspondence between the centrality or marginality of an author’s political position and the centrality or marginality of his or her literary endeavors. In addition, both writers mobilize their own minority narrative and appeal to the traditional minority position of Judaism to bring about positive transformation.