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Neoliberal Literature of Defeat: Representations of Labor in “the Archivist”

Mon, December 17, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Skyline Room


The proposed lecture seeks to trace the representation of labor in Hebrew literature as a response to the conflicts, tensions and economic inequality in the neoliberal Israeli society. I will focus on the novel "The Archivist” (2015) and would show how Labor representations in the novel dismantle the Zionist myth as formulated in modern Hebrew literature in the first half of the twentieth century, when literature joined the Zionist project in representing labor as humanistic ideal. I claim that “the Archivist” defeated protagonist is another incarnation of the image of the rootless protagonist of the Hebrew literature of the turn of the 20th century – the, too, failed to live up to their own destinies. I show that the complex identity that preoccupies the neoliberal rootless protagonists is linked to their inability to extricated themselves from economic systems


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