LITERARY PASSPORTS: THE MAKING OF MODERNIST HEBREW FICTION IN EUROPE
Shachar M. Pinsker
Stanford University Press, 2011
Pinsker’s book reframes Hebrew fiction in Europe as part of the European modernist explosion from 1900 to 1930, rooted in the literary scene of Europe and not simply an adjunct to the Zionism developing in Palestine. Pinsker is particularly attuned to the emergence of Jewish male sexuality at the very moment when women were beginning to struggle for their position and power in the larger society and in Jewish life as well. It was a complicated time. Jewish men were facing the demand to sublimate their erotic desires, and Jewish writers were beginning to affirm Jewish women’s sexuality. Pinsker is conversant with and often insightful about the development of European literary culture, so this study turns out to be just as exciting an exploration of Western cultural themes as it is of early Hebrew ones.