Modern Hebrew Literature in Translation

Exploring a rich variety of literary prose fiction, this course focuses on the emergence of modernism in Hebrew literature at the turn of the 20th century. Ever since the 19th century Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), Hebrew literature has played a major role in the processes of permutation and transition within Jewish society, articulating new modes of thinking on matters such as body, identity, sexuality and language. In both its themes and aesthetics, Hebrew literature not only reflected these processes, but in fact created and shaped the public sphere within which these new ideas emerged. Identifying literature as an institution of the modern, intertwined with the rise of nationalism, this course examines the coincidence, as well as the discrepancy, between modernist poetics and the nationalist imagination. It asks how literature constructs national consciousness and whether, and in what ways, it ever exceeds it. Our weekly sessions will be dedicated to reading diverse texts (short stories, essays, novels and literary theory) and tackling some of the recurring issues they raise, including gender and sexuality, ideology, secularization and immigration. We will acquire methodologies of literary analysis, pay attention to rhetoric and style and practice close reading. No prior knowledge of Hebrew is required. All texts are available in English translation.

Comprehensive introduction to representative works of modern Hebrew literature from the writers of the Hebrew national renaissance of the late 19th century to the present. Focuses on thematic and structural analysis of texts in light of social and intellectual movements of the period. Readings include selections from Peretz, Berdichevsky, Ahad Ha?am, Gnessin, Brenner, Agnon, Hazaz, Yehoshua, and Appelfeld.






Spring 2021

Roni Henig
TR: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM ONLI