Toward a Postnational Poetics of Hebrew Verse
This chapter turns to the Hebrew poetics of Palestinian Arab writers. It presents a close reading of poetry by Anton Shammas and his contemporaries Salman Masalha and Na'im 'Araidi. It argues that their poetry offers us a different window onto the question of Hebrew writing in a Palestinian hand. It reads their Hebrew verse as a poetics formed between languages, cultures, and national traditions, replacing the hermeneutics of antithesis (Palestinian or Israeli? Israeli or Jewish?) with one of “in-betweenness.” Furthermore, the chapter moves away from debating the identitarian definition of Hebrew to explore the nuanced relationship of Palestinian writers with Hebrew's cultural heritage and with the traditional Jewish modes of reading and interpretation embedded therein. Through an analysis of allusion and metalinguistic discourse in Palestinian Hebrew poetry, it illustrates the intertextual practice called “Palestinian midrash.”
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