Kaniuk's Canine Writing

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Dogs are omnipresent in Yoram Kaniuk’s work. They occupy a significant space in nearly all his books and take on a wide range of meanings. Many of his protagonists interact with or are assimilated with dogs, whether metaphorically or physically. Some dogs have human attributes, others appear as a flash of the unconscious and are traces of nightmarish traumas that foreshadow danger. This essay discusses the role of dogs in Kaniuk’s work while connecting two theoretical fields—animal studies and trauma studies. It focuses on situations where the distinction between dogs and people is blurred, when an individual’s doggish nature emerges, or when dogs exhibit facets of human nature. In these instances, the relationship between dogs and people reveals the depths of unvoiced trauma and enables its written expression. In this triangle of dog-trauma-writing and the aesthetic connections between them, Kaniuk provides a unique take on the person/animal dichotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-145
Number of pages19
JournalAJS Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

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© Association for Jewish Studies 2024.


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