Agnon's Moonstruck Lovers
The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture
Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies
Published by: University of Washington Press
216 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 13 illus.
- ISBN: 9780295993034
- Published: February 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.
1. Introduction: Upon the Handles of the Lock
2. The Song of Songs as Cultural Text: From the European Enlightenment to Israeli Biblicism
3. Rechnitz’s Botany of Love: The Song of Seaweed
4. The Biblical Ethnographies of “Edo and Enam” and the Quest for the Ultimate Song
In her vital contribution to Agnon studies, Ilana Pardes delivers a richly multifaceted exploration…[that]will be valuable reading for any dedicated student of modern Hebrew literature and culture. Its impact on Agnon scholarship will surely be significant and lasting.~Ramen Omer-Sherman, Hebrew Studies