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The Dark Side of Cultural Sensitivity: Right-Wing Anxiety and Institutional Literary Censorship in Israel

Dorit Barchana-Lorand orcid id ; Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 207 Kb

str. 113-130

preuzimanja: 86



In their discussion of the interpretation of the literary work of fiction, Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen explain that: “Literary appreciation is the appreciation of how a work interprets and develops the general themes which the reader identifies through the application of thematic concepts. […] The thematic concepts are, by themselves, vacuous. They cannot be separated from the way they are ‘anatomized’ in literature and other cultural discourses” (Lamarque and Olsen: 399). The subtle unravelling of the work’s thematic concepts relies on the context of its reception, with its idiosyncratic sensitivities and cultural sensibilities of that time and place. However, cultural sensitivity also has a dark side as it may occasionally ignite a sort of allergic reaction to a work, identifying it as a threat that must be eliminated. My paper examines the case of literary censorship in Israel. Three partially banned works of fiction reflect three aspects of the Israeli right-wing anxiety concerning the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict: The futility of sacrificing Israeli soldiers’ lives, the acknowledgement of the Palestinian perspective, and, fi nally, the possibility of deflecting the animosity between the two nations to a point of allowing for mutual love.

Ključne riječi

Literature; censorship; literary education; Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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