File Name: amos oz a tale of love and darkness .zip
Download Free PDF. Adia Mendelson-Maoz. Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. Aliyah versus immigrationThe development of modern Hebrew literature provides a dramatic example of the production of national imagination, whose construction, according to Benedict Anderson 1 involves the writing and rewriting of historical memories and shared narratives that seek to shape the reader 's understanding of the nation and its identity.
Since its revival at the end of the 19th century, modern Hebrew literature has played a significant role in the consolidation of the Zionist enterprise and the formation of a new national Jewish identity in Eretz Israel.
Zionist ideology, which uses symbols from the Jewish collective memory, adopted this term and gave it the new meaning of building a national home for all the Jews. Edward Said noted thatIn terms of his distinction, the aliyah narrative reflects a hegemonic picture of national ideology. It forms a pedagogical narrative of Zionist thought and education that defines the enterprise of settling in Palestine and building a new society.
The immigration narrative is a specific realisation of this general idea. It relates to individual immigration, incorporating the trauma, the struggle for identity and the failure of the attempt to impose homogenous nationality.
However, the nature of these two narratives can also be understood in terms of Foucault's early discussion on utopia and heterotopy. In the preface to his book The Order of Things, Foucault discusses heterotopy as follows:Utopias afford consolation: although they have no real locality there is nevertheless a fantastic, untroubled region in which they are able to unfold; they open up cities with vast avenues, superbly planted gardens, countries where life is easy […] Heterotopias are disturbing, probably because they secretly undermine language, because they make it impossible to name this and because they shatter to tangle common names, because they destroy the 'syntax' […] this is why utopias permit fables and discourse: they run with the very grain of language and are part of the fundamental dimension of the fabula; heterotopias […] desiccate speech, stop words in their tracks, contest the very possibility of grammar and source.
Zeli Gurevich and Gideon Aran suggest that Israel and Jerusalem operate as "the place"; that is, they define a location that has always been longed for and referred to from the outside. Aliyah represents a general concept of new life, a symmetrical place located within a historical and linear story, with clear syntax and perfect fabula.
Yet it exists only in words. However, as soon as aliyah turns from being a concept, idea or model into a reality, a tension is created between the linguistic space and the physical space. The immigration narrative is thus heterotopic, since it animates the tension between the language of the national collective and its understandability and expression. Its performance subverts the collective language; it attempts to imitate the utopian space but, in fact, runs counter to its syntax and fabula by telling a traumatic, fragmented, personal story.
The central aliyah narrative is utopian in that it has no need for a real space in order to exist, and it is present only in linguistic space. However, every time utopia encounters reality there is a risk that the features of utopia may be damaged, leading to the creation of a heterotopy that reveals the disparity between the linguistic and the physical space. Heterotopias mirror or represent utopia but at the same time suspend, invert, contest and contradict it, 11 and the performative articulates the struggle over the national collective language by invoking or erasing its boundaries.
Narratives of immigration in Hebrew literatureImmigration narratives in Hebrew literature provide good illustrations of this dialectical movement of the pedagogical-utopian and the performative-heterotopic. Although this dialectical relationship exists in every text that describes a story of immigration, other texts present different types of dialogues, debates, arguments and syntheses. Below I will discuss a few examples to illustrate the model, and then explore Amos Oz's Sippur al ahavah vehoshekh, A Tale of Love and Darkness, in greater detail, arguing that the power of this text derives from the nature of these dialectical relationships.
Agnon's novel Temol shilshom Only Yesterday 13 serves as a good starting point for examining the relationship between the pedagogical-utopian and the performative-heterotopic. Only Yesterday is a Bildungsroman. Seduced by Zionist slogans, young Kumer imagines Eretz Israel to be filled with the financial, social and erotic opportunities that were denied to him, the son of an impoverished shopkeeper in Poland.
The Bildungsroman structure meshes well with the selfimprovement characteristics of the aliyah story. There are many other examples of poor young men from Eastern Europe who go to Palestine and manage to recreate themselves, integrate and lead a successful life.
Isaac leaves his family with great expectations of becoming someone else, but events do not go according to plan. He dreams of working on the land but ends up instead as a house painter living in a town. He settles in Jaffa, a secular city, and ceases his religious observance but is later drawn to live among Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem. He believes that all who immigrate to Israel are brothers bound by a common purpose, only to discover how easy it is to be cheated and snubbed.
He continues to dream of a country flowing with milk and honey, a utopian place, but finds an inhospitable land that bakes him in the blazing sun and poses the threat of disease at every turn. Gradually Isaac superficially adapts to his new life. He becomes financially stable and finds love.
But towards the end of the novel he is destroyed: a surrealist, Kafkaesque dimension becomes dominant in the novel and Isaac is led to catastrophe. He paints "mad dog" on the back of a stray dog. Causing panic wherever he roams, the dog, named Balak, takes the story over and eventually mauls Isaac to death.
The novel is narrated in the third person. At times the author is faithful to Isaac's perception and even employs collective Zionist language, using "us" to describe aliyah and thus adopting the pedagogical aliyah narrative while, at other times, he takes a step backwards to interpret the event, exposing Isaac's misunderstanding, naivety and stupidity thus activating a performative aspect of the immigration narrative.
Painting walls assumes a symbolic meaning in the novel. The Zionist narrative in the text appears to produce a fake pedagogic illusion. Isaac prefers not to know, or refuses to see, what is counterfeit in his life. Being a house painter allegorises this fact-he is covering things up. The radical of the Hebrew word for "hypocrisy", ts-v-'a is also that of "painter", tsab'[ b p r i m e ] a and "paint" tsev'[ b p r i m e ]a, as though a hypocrite is someone who is covered or covers himself with paint.
Kumer paints everything; he is able to make it all look attractive, but he eventually fails. The dog, Balak, cannot stand the fake, and destroys the illusion.
Thus Agnon's novel, as a novel of immigration, reflects the multifaceted relationships between the pedagogical-utopian aliyah story and the personal-performative immigration narrative that describes a heterotopian existence. Hanoch Bartov's novel Shesh kenafayim le'ehad Each has Six Wings 15 paints a panoramic, multi-character picture of groups of Holocaust survivors who have immigrated to Israel and moved to Jerusalem to live in a neighbourhood abandoned by Arabs fleeing during the war.
Earlier, in the transit camp, the immigrants have been told that arrangements had been made for every family to be assigned an apartment in a stone building. The new immigrants have painful experiences with bureaucracy. The veterans treat them as people who are unable to work or take care of themselves. However, the story demonstrates their ability to rebuild their lives and struggle with the authorities to obtain the minimum needed to live a decent life.
Eventually they succeed, showing that they are, as they say, no different from "everyone else". In many ways, the story presents the pedagogical utopian aliyah narrative, with the performative aspect hidden. It is true that the characters have to fight to reconstruct their lives from the ruins, but this struggle is depicted in terms akin to the story of the pioneers who arrived in Israel in the first decades of the 20th century and had to build their homes, fight their enemies and create a new society.
Each Had Six Wings also emphasizes the connection between immigrants and veteran Israelis. There are only minimal descriptions of the survivors' memories and nightmares, memories that exist as a secret that surfaces from time to time but is not acknowledged.
Thus the past loses its particularity and therefore its performative power because it operates, as Nurit Gertz claims, as a collective memory whose source is in Europe and which does not point specifically to individual tragedy, hence disguising the trauma.
The boys are transferred to a farm, where they are expected to learn to be men according to the new Israeli myth through physical work. Appelfeld is interested in the symbolic aspect of the story; the text does not specify precise times or places.
Space, however, has major importance as it represents success or failure in the process of immigration. Boys who work outside in the fields, groves and gardens are willing to change their identity and become Israelis. The others, who work in closed spaces, in the laundry room, for example, are those who cannot forget their memories and start a new life.
Unlike Bartov's book, this novel unambiguously presents the split between the narrative of aliyah and the narrative of immigration. The boys come to Israel "with the terrible feeling that we came here by accident". In fact, the immigration narrative undermines the aliyah narrative. This is first reflected in descriptions of the boys as uneasy and unable to fulfil the new norms.
Their experiences have taught them not to trust anybody, they often misbehave, they are lazy, they steal and bribe to get what they want, and they are haunted by memories. In Bartov's novel, the terrible memories are hidden or expressed through a collective perspective. In Appelfeld's story, the veterans demand that "the young people who witnessed the Holocaust be diligent, fond of labour, clean minded. They even use their nightmarish imagination "taken from the world of the transports, concentration camps, and crematoria to describe their experience," as Avner Holtzman has pointed out: 21 for example, when they arrive in Israel men and women are separated and moved from place to place, between "camps".
The impact of this use of Holocaust memories to describe Israeli reality is powerful because of the contradiction between the safety of Israel and the boys' wartime experiences. Yet treating the immigration experience with Holocaust vocabulary starkly reveals the trauma and blurs the differences between the two places, thus undoing the utopian aliyah narrative. Texts describing the immigration of Jews from Arab countries mizrahim provide further examples.
David Asher, the young hero, has immigrated to Israel from Iraq with his family. The novel has two narrative levels: the first focuses on David's family, who are sent to a transit camp and encounter difficulties there. The second describes his experience in the Six Day War Like many of the texts that address immigration, this is also a Bildungsroman.
David describes a process of becoming an adult in Israel in which he sees himself as one of the "blacks", the mizrahim. His family is described as warm and the father is presented as the head of the household. When they reach Israel, they nurture aspirations: "We were thinking […] this is homecoming.
Jews among Jews. One people. But it is not so. Someone divides everyone into two peoples. Three elements operate in the novel to describe the process of becoming an Israeli. David falls in love with an Ashkenazi girl, Margalit; he decides to become educated; he joins the army and later fights in the war. David and Margalit's love story contains aspects of Romeo and Juliet 23 and it is unsuccessful. Although David marries Margalit and they have a son, her mother does her best to break up the marriage and find her daughter a "suitable" husband.
Second, after the death of his parents, David's older brother and mentor encourages him to study, believing that this could change their status. David studies and finds a job, but is still perceived as inferior to his peers with different ethnic backgrounds.
The book has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide. In , a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq. Oz was reportedly delighted. The book documents much of Oz's early life, and includes a family history researched by an uncle of his father. It describes a number of events he previously hadn't communicated. For example, before writing the book, Oz had avoided discussing his mother's suicide with his father, or writing publicly about it.
Usually I'm open minded and tolerant when it comes to literature, mainly because I don't believe there is such a thing as one 'correct' reading but in this case I just have to be hopelessly sentimental and treat this novel as it was an actual person and not just a work of art that can be examined and viewed from different perspectives. Are you having a difficult time reading these days? Its so incredible I want to share itso for the 1st time everI buy and buy, and so far in french and spanish translations. There is a lot to think about in this book. And while I can read a bit of a play with the lists the father and son kept it was oft-times overkill, beating me senseless. This is a difficult book for me to rate. This memoir recounts the author's life in the formative years of the nation of Israel as well as the years leading up to , as well as the lives of his parents and many relatives from various parts of Europe.
PDF | The article is a discursive reading of Amos Oz's confessional novel A Tale of Love and Darkness. It is an auto-biography in which Oz, the.
Since the s, when he emerged as one of the main literary voices of a new generation of Israeli writers, Amos Oz came to represent, both in his writings and in his public persona, the quintessential Sabra: the native-born Israeli. Oz was resolute and confident but also contemplative and sensitive. He became one of the main voices of Israel's peace camp, but he was also a believer in Israel's historical mission. Instead of the virile, confident Sabra, we encounter a boy whose world was shaped not only by Jerusalem of the s but also by the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe. Oz as he emerges from A Tale of Love and Darkness is no longer the proud kibbutznik holding a plow in one hand and a pen in the other but an Ashkenazi Jew who seems to be haunted by the complexes and fears that his parents and grandparents brought with them from the Diaspora.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *