Near Eastern Languages & Cultures | Recent Hebrew Literature in English
N388 | 3141 | Katz
Course Meets: 2:30 - 3:45 MWF BH 344
Second 8 weeks only
Satisfies COAS AHLA and CSA requirements.
"Star Wars" or a kibbutz? Ulysses (Odysseus) on the streets of Jerusalem? How many words is one
allotted per lifetime? These and other issues, and their significance for contemporary readers, will be
addressed by the readings planned for this course. Also, we will be confronting such seeming paradoxes
as captive captors, Judaism vs. Zionism, valleys towering above mountain peaks, life in death and death
in life. The aim of this course, offered in English without prerequisites, is to familiarize students with the
images, issues and trends in the culture of modern Israel. Prior familiarity with the subject is not required.
Rather, we will be reading assignments systematically in order to acquire a familiarity with Hebrew literature
and its role as mirror of a society in flux. The course will include readings from translations of the best
works in recent Hebrew literature. These readings - mostly short stories, a few poems, a novel and one
non-fiction study - will be grouped around themes intended to familiarize the reader with some of the chief
features of Israeli life and culture. Among the topics are the tension between individual wants, dreams, plans
and the demands of parents, society and state; "the rise and fall of first impressions" regarding kibbutz life;
images of the Israeli and Arab; the Israeli as soldier, as citizen and as Holocaust survivor. Readings will
be from required texts and library holdings. Our focus will be on the fictional writings of Amos OZ, one
of Israel's most talented and exciting writers. We will be reading his tales with an eye to his vision of the
individual and society.