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Poetic TrespassWriting between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine$
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Lital Levy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162485

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162485.001.0001

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Bialik and the Sephardim

Bialik and the Sephardim

The Ethnic Encoding of Modern Hebrew Literature

(p.60) Chapter 2 Bialik and the Sephardim
Poetic Trespass

Lital Levy

Princeton University Press

This chapter reexamines the history and indeed the idea of Modern Hebrew literature through the tension between its dominant narrative, associated with Ashkenazi Jews, and the suppressed perspectives that emerge from the literary and scholarly activities of Arab Jews and Mizraḥim both before and after the founding of the state. It illustrates this history through the saga of a multigenerational affair: the passionate and conflicted romance of the so-called Sephardim (Sephardi, Mizraḥi, and Arab Jews) with Modern Hebrew literature's leading persona, Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik. Their story takes us from the 1920s to 1930s Levant—Baghdad, Jerusalem, and Cairo—to present-day Israel/Palestine, with the spirit of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) accompanying us all along the way.

Keywords:   Modern Hebrew literature, Ashkenazi Jews, Arab Jews, Mizraḥi, Below>im, Sephardim, Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik

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