S. Yizhar's literary persona is known to be central in the making of the Sabra identity. This article offers an interpretation of the role played by his poetics of space in shaping both the spatial and social boundaries of this new elitist identity. These boundaries are read as driven by poetic interests in a Zionist literary context. For Zionist literature, representing the land of Israel as real is the literary equivalent of the theopolitical shift from myth to history. The Sabra generation is expected to overcome Jewish strangeness and to capture the land both politically and literarily. But Yizhar's poetics refuses to grasp the land; it follows modern philosophy and sees the full representation of reality as impossible, hence he creates boundaries for the poetic self. This refusal to fully represent is portrayed here as creating the political sense of boundaries out of poetics. Yizhar's poetics of space is demonstrated in the short stories included in Sipurei mishor and the story "The Prisoner" as well as in his spatial stance both in Jewish-Arab conflict and in questions of nature preservation. His point of view appears as kernel that can explain sociopolitical trends in modern Israel and its quasireligious motivation.


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pp. 383-412
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