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The Full Severity of CompassionThe Poetry of Yehuda Amichai$
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Chana Kronfeld

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782951

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782951.001.0001

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Double Agency

Double Agency

Amichai and the Problematics of Generational Literary Historiography

(p.267) Six Double Agency
The Full Severity of Compassion

Chana Kronfeld

Stanford University Press

Amichai extols the poet's freedom to oscillate between generational trends and poetic styles, while cherishing his outsider role and calling into question the underlying assumptions behind the generational model itself. His self-description as an inter-generational “double-agent” has presented a real problem for normative Hebrew literary historiography, with its teleological, unidirectional notions of a literary lineage, and has occasioned an impassioned debate. This literally subversive statement also articulates Amichai's post-Marxist critique of teleological historicism, his aversion to chronological order; and his preference for a simultaneous representation of personal and collective temporalities either as a fragmentary “archeology of the self” or as a fault-line geology. The chapter explores Amichai's resistance to the normative historiographic narrative of Hebrew literature, as well his refusal to reject his literary predecessors, a rejection prescribed in the manifestos of the self-proclaimed leader of the Statehood Generation, Natan Zach.

Keywords:   Yehuda Amichai, Modernism, Statehood Generation, Literary Trend, Natan Zach, Literary Historiography, Literary Generations

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