Chapter

Between Myth and History: Moshe Shamir's <i>He Walked in the Fields</i><sup>1</sup>

Shai Ginsburg

in Literature and Nation in the Middle East

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780748620739
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653102 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620739.003.0007
Between Myth and History: Moshe Shamir's He Walked in the Fields1

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This chapter addresses the question of history and theory by examining one case study from the history of modern Hebrew literature in the context of Zionist nationalism, focusing on Moshe Shamir's novel, He Walked in the Fields, which is as a whole an expression of a hegemonic Zionist ideology and culture. The critical reception of this novel is discussed in detail in this chapter as well. The chapter also addresses the issues of what determined the idealising reception of the novel and its protagonist, and what the functions of such a reception of the novel were, questions within two poles. First, it explores the novel as questioning, rather than reaffirming, the Zionist myth of the native Hebrew; and second, it juxtaposes the critical reception of the novel with the public reading of death and mourning in the young state of Israel, and between myth and history.

Keywords: myth and history; Zionist nationalism; Moshe Shamir; Zionist ideology; Zionist myth

Chapter.  9132 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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