Magazine article Tikkun

Inextricably Bonded

Magazine article Tikkun

Inextricably Bonded

Article excerpt

[BOOKS]

Inextricably Bonded

Rachel Brenner on Palestinian and Jewish Israeli Literature

ONE OF THE MOST OVERlooked literary products of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been the wealth of commentaries written about its novelists and poets. Enter the world of Rachel Brenner. A professor of literature at the University of Wisconsin, Brenner published Inextricably Bonded: Israeli Arab and Jewish Writers Re-Visioning Culture in 2005. A groundbreaking analysis of Israel's multicultural literary history, Inextricably Bonded challenges the ways Israeli literary history has traditionally been understood. Focusing on how Jewish and Arab Israeli writers have expressed a common identity that resists Zionism's dominant Jewish narrative, Brenner lays the foundation for a larger examination of how Israeli and non-Israeli Arab writers-such as Elias Khoury-have worked together to forge a common Middle Eastern culture. Mark LeVine spoke to Brenner about what it means to be inextricably bonded.

TIKKUN: The title of your last book describes Palestinian and Jewish Israeli writers as being "inextricably bonded." In your earlier works-such as Writing as Resistance-you've, also focused on writing as an act of resistance. Can you explain to our readers the basic culturalpolitical considerations that create the bonds you identify and how they relate to resisting the kinds of projects-the Occupation, a dominant Ashkenazi identity-that most of the writers you explore struggle with from one perspective or another.

BRENNER: Inextricably Bonded intends to draw attention to literary voices on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as they resist the political reality of Israel. These voices have engaged in a struggle against the ideology, which justifies oppression and occupation. Against the Zionist politics of separatism, they affirm the "inextricable bonding" of the two peoples, who have been shaping each other's identities for over a hundred years now. In other words, both literatures promote the notion that the hope for a solution does not lie in constructing walls, fences, barriers, or unilateral withdrawals-as demonstrated in today's reality-but rather in respectful and empathie sharing of the story; the liberation from the haunting past is predicated upon the parties telling of the story and listening to the story of each other.

The bonds that I discuss in my book emerge from deep emotional need shaped by tragic historical circumstances. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.