(Topics in Modern Hebrew lit)
'War and peace in Israeli literature'
Fall 2002
Lewis Glinert


The creation of modern Israel has been dominated by war and efforts to find peace. Israeli literature provides a profound insight into how Israelis have coped with these conflicts, their perceptions of their enemies and their diverse dreams of the future. We shall study the fiction, poetry and popular song of the struggle -- by combatants and non-combatants -- against the Axis war machine and the British occupation, the War of Independence, the chronic state of siege culminating in the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War, the creeping self-doubt and angst, the anti-war poetic protest movement following the Lebanon War of 1982 and the 1987 Palestinian-Israeli urban conflict -- and a range of contemporary literary responses to the Gulf War, the Israel-Palestinian accords and their failure, and now the renewed flare-up of urban fighting. Underlying this all are memories of Holocaust and complex attitudes to Israel's Arab neighbors.

No Hebrew is required, but those who know some Hebrew are encouraged to look at the Hebrew originals!.


There will be several essays and class reports (60%) and a final project (40%).

Late Work
Unless permission is granted by the instructor well in advance of the deadline, late essays or papers will be penalized a minimum of one letter grade rank (i.e. a "B" will automatically be reduced to a "B-").

Academic Honor Principle
Review the pertinent section in the Student Handbook and carefully read Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgement. In terms of this course, students should make every effort to acknowledge any ideas or information they obtained from outside sources.

Disabilities Statement
I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities like chronic diseases, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities to discuss with me after class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations that might be helpful to them. Also, they should stop by the Academic Skills Center in 301 Collis Center to register for support services. Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me by the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential.

Reading list

The following will be available for purchase at Wheelock Books:

The following will be available in Baker Reserve:


You are expected to read the specified items by the date mentioned and to comment on them in class

September 26

Under the Turk and the British
[NB: Hareven's book is a novel, so begin reading it well ahead of time]
October 1 
 Elon ch 7
Sachar ch. 18
Raab 'Wedding' (in Diament 20-26)
October 3 
  Smilanski 'Squatter's rights' (in Penueli & Ukhmani, vol. 1, 182-191)
Ramras-Rauch, ch. 1 'Smilanski'
Aricha 'Night Scene' (in Penueli & Ukhmani, vol. 2, 233-244)
Brenner, 'The way out' (in Alter 141-160)
Ramras-Rauch, ch 4 'Brenner'
October 8 
  Hareven City of Many Days
Burnshaw 92-95 (Ratosh)
written assignment due Oct 8, 11 pm
Responses to European enmities
October 10 
  Barash 'At heaven's gate' (in Alter 161-178)
Burnshaw, 32-34 (Bialik), 64-67 (Greenberg)
Appelfeld, 'Cold spring' (Abramson 204-212)
October 15 
  Agnon 'The lady and the peddler' (in Alter 179-196)
October 17 
  Agnon 'At the outset of the day' (in Alter 215-226)
Liebrecht, 'Morning in the park with nannies' (in Abramson 387-396)
Almog 'Dora's secret' (in Abramson 397-405)
written assignment due Oct 17, 11 pm
The War of Independence and the 'fragile years'
October 22 
  Elon ch 8
Sachar ch. 22, 27
Shaked, The Shadows Within, pp 145-180
October 24 
  Yizhar, 'The prisoner' (in Alter 291-312)
Yudkin pp 71-89 ('The tormented conscience of S Yizhar')
Ramras-Rauch, ch 6 'Yizhar'
Tammuz 'The swimming contest' in Abramson, 127-138
Ramras-Rauch, ch 13 'Tammuz'
Raizen 2-14
October 29 
  Shamir They Walked in the Fields
Shamir 'Next of kin' (Blocker 175-194)
Ramras-Rauch ch. 6 'Shamir'
Raizen 14-28
Burnshaw 148-151 (Kovner)
October 31 
  Aharon Megged 'The White City' (Penueli vol. 2, pp. 61-113)
Ramras-Rauch, ch.7 'Megged'
Amichai 'The Battle for the Hill' (Blocker 195-231)
Raizen 28-40
November 5 
  Yehoshua, 'Facing the Forests' (in Alter 352-392)
Ramras-Rauch ch. 11 'Yehoshua'
Oz, Where the Jackals howl (story within the collection by this name)
Ramras-Rauch ch. 12 'Oz' Raizen 40-52
written assignment due Nov 5, 11 pm
The Six Day War and its aftermath: Euphoria and disillusion
November 7 
  Elon ch 9, 10
Sachar ch. 28, 29 [also about 1982]
Koren, 'Together with them' (in Abramson 336-340)
Raizen 54-66
November 12 
  Kishon Unfair to Goliath, pp. 43-52
Near, H. The Seventh Day
Yehoshua 'The Last Commander' in Abramson 220-236
Raizen 66-78, 84-86
November 14 
  Yehoshua 'Missile Base 240', in Sonntag 161-195
Porat 'A diagonal view' (in Sonntag 129-137)
Nitzan 'A stolen hour' (in Sonntag 200-206)
Raizen 92-116
written assignment due November 14, 11 pm
The 80s and beyond: A country divided
November 19 
  Liebrecht: 'Room on the Roof' in Diament 231-258
Raizen 116-132
November 21 
  Ravikovitch 'A slight delay' (in Diament 151-159)
Hendel 'Apples in honey' (in Diament 263-274)
Raizen 132-146
Plus ća change...
November 26 
  Yehoshua 'The literature of the generation of the state'
Raizen 148-156
Poems of 2000 and 2001 [hand-outs]
December 3 
  Wrapping up
Project due December 7, 11 p.m.

* If you have any questions about this course, you can reach Prof. Glinert at Lewis.H.Glinert@Dartmouth.EDU.

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