Jerusalem Time: Reading Contemporary Israeli Dystopias

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The image of Jerusalem in contemporary Hebrew literature offers a new concept of history, religion, and the flow of time. From the turn of the twenty-first century, literary works have brought the city to the fore as a cornerstone of their cultural and political examination of the Israeli situation following the second Intifada and its aftermath. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, Jerusalem surfaced in futuristic/dystopic writings, integrating mythical, biblical and historical elements in a futuristic reality, and challenging familiar conceptions of time and space. This article discusses and compares two works: Yishai Sarid’s Ha-shlishi (The Third, 2015), and Dror Burstein’s Tit (Muck, 2016). Both portray a horrifying, dystopic reality whose focal point is Jerusalem and the Temple, while shaping an intriguing dialectic tension between different temporal concepts, and offering new poetic strategies. These works demonstrate the great power of the city in contemporary Jewish and Israeli existence, and reveal the connections between ideology and violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-440
Number of pages11
JournalCritique - Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

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