Philip Hollander is an Assistant Professor of Israeli Literature and Culture at the University Wisconsin-Madison.
Hebrew literature did not begin in Palestine. It began in Europe, as part of a distinctly modernist approach to 20th century European Jewish life.
Philip Hollander reviews Amy Horowitz’s Mediterranean Israeli Music and the Politics of the Aesthetic (Wayne State University, 2010).
Modern Hebrew poetry was originally conceived as a vehicle for secular Jewish liberalism. Its impact on Israel’s national language has been forgotten.
Modern Hebrew literature did not begin in Israel. In the 19th century, a new secular Hebrew literature arose in Eastern Europe and then the United States. Here, Hollander reviews a new book by Stephen Katz, who argues that this literature was a minority tongue, more at home with African-American gospel than old-time tefillah.
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