Book Information

The Zionist Paradox: Hebrew Literature & Israeli Identity

Yigal Schwartz

350 pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"

978-1-61168-601-2, Paperback
978-1-58465-894-8, Hardcover
978-1-61168-602-9, Ebook


Laudatory review by Naomi Sokoloff, AJS Review v39:2 (November 2015): "In recent years, space has become a hot topic in Hebrew literary and cultural studies - thanks in no small part, to Schwartz..."

The Zionist Paradox: Hebrew Literature & Israeli Identity

Yigal Schwartz

A comprehensive interpretation of the development of Hebrew and Israeli literature against the backdrop of the Zionist ideal

Through the lens of five major works in Hebrew by writers Avraham Mapu (1853), Theodor Herzl (1902), Yosef Luidor (1912), Moshe Shamir (1948) and Amos Oz (1963), Schwartz unearths the core of this paradox as it evolves over one hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1960s.

"Yigal Schwartz's pathbreaking book on modern Hebrew literature is a daring, original, and very readable study of many crucial aspects of our contemporary literature. Schwartz offers a point of view that combines deep love for his subject with subtle critical observations. This book is an eye-opener for anyone who loves Hebrew literature and, in fact, anyone who loves literature."—Amos Oz

"The Zionist Paradox is a must read for anyone interested in the complex understanding of Israeli literature and its exploration of Zionist mythologies of time and space... Schwartz's analysis challenges the reader to rethink the ways in which these literary texts confront and reshape Jewish society and collective identities, the construction of a Jewish national space, and Israelis' relationship to the homeland."—Yael Zerubavel, Rutgers University

YIGAL SCHWARTZ is professor of Hebrew literature and director of Heksherim: The Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

This book was published by Brandeis University Press as part of the Schusterman Series in Israel Studies.