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Title: Resistance & Reluctance: On the "National Poets" of Israel/Palestine
Authors: Talpaz, Sheera Shimona
Advisors: Levy, Lital
Contributors: Comparative Literature Department
Subjects: Comparative literature
Middle Eastern literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: “Resistance and Reluctance: On the ‘National Poets’ of Israel/Palestine” explores the forms that the concept of the “national poet” takes within Israeli/Palestinian contexts: how the concept developed in tandem with ideas of the nation, what it has meant for Israeli/Palestinian cultures and societies, and whether it has a future. In order to investigate these questions, this project compares three key figures—Haim Nahman Bialik (1873-1934), Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), and Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000)—focusing on the process of national canonization, the poet’s role within it, and his attitude toward it. The first two figures, Bialik and Darwish, are avowed national poets around whose status critics and readers have reached consensus, while the third, Amichai, is a contested national poet whose status has been shaped externally, in part, through the act of translation. While scholars have touted the importance of national poets in acting as mouthpieces for nationalist ideology and in articulating the defining features of a national cultural identity, I argue that Israeli/Palestinian national poets complicate the notion of the figure as nationalist ideologue and tragic-romantic symbol, critiquing these very ideas within their work. I do so by examining how resistance functions as a broadly recurring motif within these poets’ works and as part of their personas, destabilizing the nationalist “national poet” model while exposing some of its dangers.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Comparative Literature

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