Hebrew Prose

Diamond, James S.
January 2001
Prooftexts;Winter2001, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p129
Academic Journal
This article examines how “Prooftexts” has dealt with Hebrew prose. Doing so reveals that the focus has been largely, though not exclusively, on twentieth-century writing, treated most often through the diverse approaches and methodologies of contemporary practical criticism. The writers are mostly North Americans, though some leading Israelis are represented in translation. The fact that “Prooftexts” exists in English and is published in the United States has enabled it not only to purvey currents of Israeli scholarship to non-Hebrew readers but also to serve as a mediator between the discourse and concerns of American critics and scholars and their Israeli counterparts. By fostering discussion of Hebrew prose across linguistic, geographical, disciplinary, and ideological boundaries, “Prooftexts” has helped internationalize Hebrew prose, severing the critical discourse on it from the orbit of the Hebrew language and from its confinement to the particular concerns of one nation-state. Questions of “Prooftexts’” role in canon formation are larger. It is essentially noncanonical, or has it begun to provide an alternative, North American Diaspora canon? With its discernible focus on feminist criticism and gender issues, is “Prooftexts” implicitly catalyzing the formation of an emerging feminist Hebrew canon?


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