A Poetics of Trauma

The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch

Ilana Szobel

A Poetics of Trauma

Ilana Szobel

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

198 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781611683554 Published January 2013
The work of the renowned Israeli poet, translator, peace activist, and 1998 Israel Prize laureate Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936–2005) portrays the emotional structure of a traumatized and victimized female character. Ilana Szobel’s book, the first full-length study of Ravikovitch in English, offers a theoretical discussion of the poetics of trauma and the politics of victimhood, as well as a rethinking of the notions of activity and passivity, strength and weakness. Analyzing the deep structure embodied in Ravikovitch’s work, Szobel unearths the interconnectedness of Ravikovitch’s private-poetic subjectivity and Israeli national identity, and shows how her unique poetics can help readers overcome cultural biases and sympathetically engage otherness.
Contents
Acknowledgments • Introduction: What Must Be Forgotten • Part 1: Forever Beholden: The State of Orphanhood • Poetics of Orphanhood • “She Has Damaged the Little Girl”: Orphanhood and Motherhood • “His Eldest Daughter”: Women’s Symbolic Orphanhood • Part 2: Estrangement: The Project of Female Subjectivity • Estrangement and the Collision of Perspectives • “Imaginary Geography”: The Gap between “Here” and “Over There” • Part 3: “She Tried to Escape and Lost Her Senses”: Mania, Depression, and Madness • The Manic-Depressive Mode: Poetics of Mobilité • “Therefore I Invented Conversation”: Speech about Madness, and Mad Speech • Part 4: Unveiling Injustice: Testimony, Complicity, and National Identity • “Hovering at a Low Altitude”: Witnessing and Complicity • “Guilt-Ridden Poems”: The Contamination of Language and the Departure from Innocence • “Stinging and Itching/Maddeningly: The Palestinians as the Israeli Abjection • Conclusion: “The Transparent Skin That Unites Us” • Notes • Bibliography • Index
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