Jewish Studies | RECENT HEBREW LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
L385 | 2950 | S Katz
MWR 2:30-3:45 (class meets first eight weeks only)
"Star Wars" on 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 semester. 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 the course, offered in English without prerequisites, is
to familiarize readers with the images, issues, and trends in the
culture of modern Israel. The course and does not presume any prior
familiarity with the subject. Rather, we will be reading 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 those topics are the
tension between individual wants, dreams, aspirations and the demands
of parents, society and state; "the rise and fall of first
impressions" regarding kibbutz life; image 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.
Final grades will be calculated on the basis of each student's
preparation of assignments (readings of approximately two short
stories, 20-40 pp.) and attendance per session; in-class content
quizzes; a mid-term and final exam; a required book summary and
optional term paper.
Fulfills: Jewish Studies Language or Literature course; CSA