S.Y. Agnon’s Jerusalem: Before and After 1948
This essay explores S. Y. Agnon’s Jerusalem in a number of texts, spanning nearly his entire life—and beyond, into posthumous publications. I argue that the two constitutive events of the 1940s—the Shoah and the war of 1948 that led to the establishment of the State of Israel—hardly figure in Agnon’s representation of Jerusalem, which remains largely an anachronistic site of pre-1948 pilgrimage and millennial visions. Rather than interpret this as part of a seamlessly religious worldview consistent with “holistic” poetic and political positions (especially post-1967), I suggest that there is a nonhistorical version of Jerusalem as the site of ultimate reconciliation and deliverance that is often “hidden in plain view” in some of the most audacious of Agnon’s fictions. I conclude with a reading of the enigmatic short story, “Ma‘gelei tsedek.”
Ezrahi, Sidra DeKoven
2012
Jewish Social Studies
Jewish Social Studies
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