Gender and the Language of Modernism

Allison Schachter

in Diasporic Modernisms

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812639
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919413 | DOI:
Gender and the Language of Modernism

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This chapter examines Leah Goldberg’s 1946 modernist Hebrew novel Ve-hu ha-’or (And That Is the Light). Goldberg’s novel portrays the tensions between Jewish and European literary culture through her female protagonist, Nora. Although Goldberg wrote the novel after immigrating to Palestine in 1935, she highlights the gender politics of Jewish culture in interwar Europe. The novel grapples with the triangulation of Hebrew, Yiddish, and European modernist traditions and cultures and foregrounds the ways that the modernist aesthetics of diaspora signal the changing gender system of Jewish culture. In the novel, Hebrew is a deterritorialized language for modernist expression, one that must embrace both Jewish and European literary culture.

Keywords: Leah Goldberg; Gender; Hebrew; Yiddish; modernism; And That Is the Light; Impressionism

Chapter.  14460 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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