E 322 • Love and the State in Contemporary Israeli Literature
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Since its inception as a nationally (rather than linguistically) defined literature, Israeli literature has struggled with the tensions between the personal and the political. The representation of love in Israeli literature is one example of this struggle. While love is often depicted as being tied inextricably to the moral and political dilemmas that Israel has encountered, some Israeli authors and poets have defied this link in their insistence on love as profoundly personal and a-historical. We will examine various representations of love in this context, with a special emphasis on adultery, a recurrent theme in contemporary Israeli writing by both men and women. We will compare the representation of adultery as it developed generationally from the writers of the State Generation and the Zionist Left to the younger authors writing in a period of intense debate about Zionism, both international and domestic. We will also examine gender relations within the adulterous relationship as a parallel to the relationship between the individual and the State, developing from a rigidly masculine model to a subversively feminine one.
This course is conducted in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.
Paper 1 (3-4 pp) 20%
Paper 2 (5-6 pp rewrite) 25%
Paper 3 (8-9 pp) 30%
Ronit Matalon, Bliss, Orly Castel-Bloom, Human Parts, Meir Shalev, Loves of Judith, Tsruya Shalev, Love Life, Yehoshua, The Lover, Oz, A Perfect Peace, Oz, To Know a Woman, Savyon Liebrecht, A Man and a Woman and a Man, David Grossman, Be My Knife, Yoel Hoffmann, The Heart Is Katmandu, Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs