Toward the Longed-for Shore: The Sea in Hebrew Culture and Modern Hebrew Literature

Toward the Longed-for Shore cover photo
Author (Faculty Member): 

This book takes a bold step in entirely overturning the most common perspective in the study of Zionist national culture. Instead of looking at the importance, centrality, conquest, and cultivation of the Land of Israel, while altogether ignoring the Mediterranean Sea, this book chooses to turn deliberate on the importance of the sea itself. Instead of putting at its center the territory, the very land of the land of Israel – the book examines the role of the sea in the imagined community of Eretz Israel and the State of Israel. Thus, the book develops an alternative analysis of the national culture even as it detects fractures and discontinuities in the imagined national community.

Its chapters unveil new readings of the literary works of S.I.Agnon, David Vogel and Nathan Alterman; of the Israeli poetry of “The State Generation;” of Israeli-Mizrahi literature and of Eretz-Israeli Symbolist poetry. From this fresh perspective the book also exposes some of the central foci of the national culture, such as the discourse of the “Ha’apalah,” the migration to Eretz Israel in boats and ships following World War 2, and the representation of the Sea of Galilee that constructs the land of Israel as a sacred place.

Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, Heb.
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2007