Art and the Artist in the Contemporary Israeli Novel


Product Details

Lexington Books
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Joseph Lowin is a retired professor of humanities living in New York City.


In Art and the Artist in the Contemporary Israeli Novel, Joseph Lowin presents a vibrant profile of Israeli novelistic writing. . . . .In accessible, fluent prose, [it] guides readers through a literary journey, providing much needed context and drawing attention to sites that might have been overlooked otherwise.-- "Hebrew Higher Education"
In this critical study, Joseph Lowin carefully examines eight examples of the contemporary Israeli novel, aiming to elucidate the images of art and artists in modern Israeli culture.... Lowin gives expert attention to the special, "arcane" literary devices displayed in these novels.... Lowin includes very helpful footnotes illuminating Mr. Mani and Yehoshua's creative aims. The book's very thorough index also aids readers' understanding of the technical aspects of all eight novels.... In this thoughtful book, Joseph Lowin further traces such continuity by linking each of his chosen Israeli novels to "the great chain of the Jewish textual tradition."-- "Jewish Book Council"
Through close readings of Israeli fiction (and with the same good humor Lowin exhibits in his column on Hebrew language in Hadassah Magazine), he reveals that, although these Israeli writers are, first and foremost, unique, they also see themselves as continuing the Hebrew textual tradition by structuring biblical characters, themes and patterns into their fiction.... Lowin's analyses are weighted with literary concepts, but they go beyond academic scholarship. Deeply sensitive, his work is inspired by a love of Israeli fiction and its connection to the Jewish text tradition, an echo chamber of Jewish culture.-- "Hadassah Magazine"
Art and the Artist in the Contemporary Israeli Novel is a highly original and beautifully written book. Each chapter provides a window into the work of a major Israeli novelist by way of an in-depth analysis of one of the novelist's works. The first chapter [on Aharon Appelfeld's The Age of Wonders] ... is especially impressive. To my knowledge there is nothing quite like it in the extensive literature on this author. [Lowin] deals with complex issues in a lucid manner that I would characterize as brilliant. ... Each chapter in the book is a jewel in its own way. ... There is no other book that provides such brilliant companion analyses in one convenient place. ... The author's chapter on Megged is a tour de force.... As one who wrote on Megged, I can say without reservation that this is the best treatment anywhere of this challenging novel [Mandrakes from the Holy Land], and it is a tribute to the under-appreciated Aharon Megged. This book could easily serve as a Primer in Israeli criticism. Its major contribution lies in its highly disciplined and eloquent exposition of the way in which "slow reading" can bring out the best in individual and highly complex and highly worthwhile Israeli novels. ...[The] book as a whole [is] a major contribution to the study of these and similar authors. There is no other book quite like this one. It will be useful for courses taught in both the original Hebrew and in translation. ... For me it has been an edifying and uplifting experience preparing this report.--Stanley Nash, Hebrew Union College
Joseph Lowin's close and brilliant readings of eight Israeli novels serves as a superb introduction to the country's greatest living writers, the issues that they grapple with, the language that they employ, and the textual tradition that they draw upon. A masterful guide to contemporary Israeli fiction in English.--Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University
A highly readable and informed introduction to Israeli literature through eight novel studies for the general reader. Joseph Lowin traces the authors' discoveries of art and explorations of the creative process in daily life. Each work is celebrated for its contribution to the continuing revival of Hebrew and its connection to the larger republic of letters.--Nancy Berg, Washington University, St. Louis