To Inherit the Land, to Conquer the Space: The Beginning of Hebrew Literature in Eretz-Israel

To Inherit the Land, to Conquer the Space cover photo
Author (Faculty Member): 

This book follows key moments in the rise of Hebrew poetry in Eretz-Israel. The book clarifies the literary and political meaning of the “beginning” of literature as it is constituted by the great narratives of Hebrew literature: Zionism, and the settlement of the Land of Israel. The Zionist encounter of with the space of Eretz-Israel is revealed to be a violent one; Hebrew poetry written about it not only represents it but actually takes an active role in its creation. This poetry is understood here as a mechanism for “aesthetic conquest” of space manifested through the poetics and the language of the poetry developing in Eretz-Israel. In its six sections, the book investigates transporting the poetics of Hibat Zion from eastern Europe to Eretz-Israel; the budding of Eretz-Israeli Modernism at the time of the Second Aliya; the hegemony of David Shimonovits’ Eretz-Israel idyll; the narrative of immigration from the diaspora to Eretz-Israel in Yakov Steinberg’s long poem “Avshalom’s Journey”; the role of the popular sing-along of the “Labor Poem” in the labor movement’s construction of popular culture; and the unique relations of Uri Zvi Greenberg’s expressionist long poem “Great Fear and the Moon” to the Eretz-Israeli space.

The Bialik Institute, Heb.
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2015