An Ideological Death: Suicide in Israeli Literature by Rachel S. Harris
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Overview: An Ideological Death: Suicide in Israeli Literature examines literary challenges to Israel’s national narratives. The centrality of the army, the mythology of the New Jew, the vision of the first Israeli city, Tel Aviv, and the very process by which a nation’s history is constructed are confronted in fiction by many prominent Israeli writers.
Using the image of suicide, A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, Etgar Keret, Yehudit Katzir, Alon Hilu, Yaakov Shabtai, Benjamin Tammuz, and Yehoshua Kenaz each engage in a critical and rhetorical process that examines the nation’s formation and reconsiders myths at the heart of the Zionist project. In Israeli literature, suicide represents a society’s compulsion to create impossible ideals that leave its populace disappointed and deluded. Yet as Rachel S. Harris shows, even at their harshest these writers also represent the idealism that helped build Israel as a modern nation-state.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational > Israeli literature and culture