E 322 • Introduction to Israeli Literature
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This course will encompass almost six decades of fiction, from the 1948 declaration of Israeli independence to the present time. We will read the works of the first Israeli generation from the late 1940s and early 1950s, and continue with those of the State Generation, or New Wave (including Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua), of the 1950s-1980s. We will continue with contemporary writing by women, Mizrahim, and Israeli Arabs, and, finally, arrive at postmodernism. Our explorations of Israeli literature will be marked by points of political turbulence and upheaval, beginning with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and culminating in the current Al-Aqsa Intifada. Along the way, we will examine some major themes of Israeli literature, including the shift from collective concerns to individual ones, the disillusionment with Zionism, the creation of an Israeli identity, and intergenerational conflicts. We will also consider the interaction between literature and various tensions in Israeli society (Jews and Arabs, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular).
This course is conducted in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.
Regular reading, consistent participation and attendance.
Paper 1, 4-5 pages 15%
Paper 2 (Rewrite), 5-6 pages 25%
Paper 3, 7-8 pages 30%
Agnon, Book...Lost; Michael, Victoria; Yehoshua, Mani; Kashua, Dancing Arabs; Oz, Perfect Peace; Matalon, Bliss; Grossman, Intimate Grammar; Shamir, Walked Through Fields; Hareven, City Many Days; Shalev, Blue Mountain ; Appelfeld, Badenhein ; Kenaz, Returning Lost Loves; Castel-Bloom, Human Parts.