"Outside" Israeli movie by Etgar Keret and Inbal Pinto

Etgar Keret: Outside the Israeli Bubble

A woman sprawls face-down on a table, her face in a breakfast dish and a banana peel near her knee. Soon she wakes and arises with jerky but highly choreographed movements coordinated with a whimsical soundtrack. She turns on the television, a Japanese announcer appears, shuffling papers, and she quickly shuts it off. As she turns away, the television flicks back on of its own accord, and we’ve entered the slightly magical but recognizable world of an Etgar Keret story, recently made into a short film.

Continue reading

Redeeming Haim Hazaz

by Darren Pinsker When the Israeli writer Haim Hazaz died in 1973, his reputation was so lofty in the world of modern Hebrew letters that one observer would write in the Jewish Book Annual, “He was one of Israel’s most honored writers of fiction and one of her most influential thinkers." Upon the tenth anniversary of his death, the Israeli critic Dan Laor, introducing an anthology of lectures arranged in commemoration of Hazaz’s fiction, would write, “The work of Haim Hazaz is one of the most important phenomena in 20th century Hebrew literature.” And in an essay on Hazaz written in 2001, the literary scholar Arnold Band would opine, “If we ask who were the leading prose writers of the 1950s, we would probably agree upon three names: Agnon, Hazaz, and Yizhar.” And yet today,...

Continue reading