Asaf Schurr and the Critique of Postmodernism in Contemporary Hebrew Literature

Peleg, Yaron 

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Much has been written about the influence of postmodernism on Israeli literature in the last three decades or so. Fewer studies tried to look beyond postmodernism at the attempt of more contemporary Israeli works to overcome some of its limitations, especially the reluctance of so-called postmodern texts to represent “truth” or objective reality. The following chapter will address this difficulty by looking at the work of Asaf Schurr, who published five novels in quick succession between 2007-2014. While Schurr’s first three novels, which focus on the imagined worlds of single individuals, seem to parody postmodernism, his last two novels expand their social scope and express a greater realism. Read together, these novels invoke the crisis of representation in the postmodern age while at the same time offer a tentative solution to it as well. By restoring a clearer sense of self and a clearer sense of community these novels reconstruct historical subjectivity and abandon the idea of an “imagined national community” in favor of smaller but more tangible social units.

University of Washington Press