This dissertation offers a study of proper names and naming as a conceptual and thematic anchor in the work of S.Y. Agnon. Proper names, I argue, constitute an underexplored and highly fruitful prism through which to read literature, and specifically Agnon’s fiction. My study consists of a series of readings in several of Agnon’s major and most interpreted texts, all considered milestones of Modern Hebrew literature. Reading these works through the lens of proper names exposes facets of the texts that went largely unobserved by earlier readers, and yields a new understanding of them. The study’s primary concern is to determine what names are capable of telling us about Agnon’s texts.
A Thousand Names They Called Him