Amichai and the Problematics of Generational Literary Historiography
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.
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