Agnon’s Moon­struck Lovers: The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture

Ilana Pardes
  • From the Publisher
March 13, 2014
Agnon’s Moon­struck Lovers explores the response of Israel’s Nobel lau­re­ate S. Y. Agnon to the priv­i­leged posi­tion of the Song of Songs in Israeli cul­ture. Stand­ing at a unique cross­roads between reli­gion and sec­u­lar­ism, Agnon probes the para­dox­es and ambi­gu­i­ties of the Zion­ist hermeneu­tic project. In adopt­ing the Song, Zion­ist inter­preters sought to return to the erot­ic, pas­toral land­scapes of bib­li­cal times. Their quest for a new, uplift­ing, sec­u­lar lit­er­al­ism, how­ev­er, could not efface the haunt­ing impact of alle­gor­i­cal con­fig­u­ra­tions of love. With superb irony, Agnon’s tales recast Israeli bib­li­cism as a pecu­liar chap­ter with­in the ever-sur­pris­ing his­to­ry of bib­li­cal exe­ge­sis.

Relat­ed Con­tent: S.Y. Agnon read­ing list, Shir Hashir­im: A Mod­ern Com­men­tary on the Song of Songs by Leonard Kravitz and Ker­ry Olitzky, The Song of Songs: The Hon­ey­bee in the Gar­den by Debra Band

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