The Writing of Yehuda Amichai
A Thematic Approach
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Yehuda Amichai is an Israeli poet of international distinction. Known as Israel's "master poet," Amichai conveys a portrait of life in modern Israel, summarizing and reflecting all the major preoccupations of his generation. Unlike most of his Israeli contemporaries he explores the alteration of Jewish perspectives, the loss of religious orthodoxy and the nature of Jewish identity in the mid-20th century. He illuminates the dislocation of Jewish life after the Holocaust and the dilemma of response on the part of young Israelis. His poetic language is rich in figuration and laced with quotations from classical Jewish texts which he manipulates into ironic discourse with the problems of the present. Echoing the 17th-century metaphysical poets, Amichai's writing reveals a tussle between physical love and spirituality; its tension lies in his failure to synthesize both in religious faith.
Abramson presents a detailed critical description and thematic analysis of Amichai's work, with reference to the historical background from which it has emerged. The problems of an emerging national culture are seen subjectively through the eyes of one of its most sensitive and perceptive literary observers.
Glenda Abramson is Teacher of modern Hebrew literature at the University of Oxford; Schreiber Fellow in Modern Jewish Studies, Oxford Center for Hebrew Studies; and Senior Research Fellow, St. Cross College, Oxford University
"This is a solid and competent piece of scholarship. " — Naomi Sokoloff, University of Washington
"It seems to me that Dr. Abramson treats her subject with enviable intelligence and authority. In my judgment, she has produced a work of distinction. " — Stanley F. Chyet, Hebrew Union College