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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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Sephardic Identity and Its Discontents

Sephardic Identity and Its Discontents

The Novels of A. B. Yehoshua

(p.189) Eight Sephardic Identity and Its Discontents

Bernard Horn

Stanford University Press

The idea of sephardism is used as a lens through which ideological questions regarding the formation of modern nationalism can be addressed. This methodology takes into account the identity of non-Sephardim instead of focusing only on the identity of Sephardic Jews themselves or how Sephardic identity shapes overall Jewish identity. In order to understand this critical approach to Sepharad as a methodological platform, this chapter looks at the fiction of A. B. Yehoshua. It first examines the boundaries and implications of a twentieth-century national Jewish identity that formed itself against a variety of Others, non-Jews as well as a doubled Jewish Other. It then explores how authors and critics of Hebrew literature have approached its Sephardic dimension largely on the basis of a binary ethnic determinism.

Keywords:   Sepharad, sephardism, Sephardic identity, Hebrew literature, A. B. Yehoshua, ethnic determinism, nationalism, Sephardic Jews, non-Sephardim, Jewish identity

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