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SephardismSpanish Jewish History and the Modern Literary Imagination$
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Yael Halevi-Wise

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804777469

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804777469.001.0001

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Facing Sepharad, Facing Israel and Spain

Facing Sepharad, Facing Israel and Spain

Yehuda Burla and Antonio Gala's Janus Profiles of National Reconstitution

(p.169) Seven Facing Sepharad, Facing Israel and Spain

Stacy N. Beckwith

Stanford University Press

The Hispanist Edna Aizenberg argues about an “allure of Sepharad” in modern Latin American literature. This chapter offers a critical analysis of the nationalist literary and theatrical projects of two mid-twentieth-century Sephardist authors, one from Israel and the other from Spain. Yehuda Burla's 1959 historical novel Eleh masa 'ei Rabi Yehuda Halevi (These Are the Travels of Rabbi Judah Halevi) and Antonio Gala's 1974 political drama Las cítaras colgadas de los árboles (The Zithers Hanging from the Trees) both view Sepharad as an imagined space from a distance and exhibit a politics of reading Spain's medieval past via a deliberate image of contemporary national reconstitution. A Janus-faced dynamic emerges from the two works, that is, a doubling and reflection of the present in the past.

Keywords:   Edna Aizenberg, Yehuda Burla, Antonio Gala, Sepharad, Spain, Israel, Latin American literature, national reconstitution, politics

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