The Evolution of the Portrait of the Arab and Nationalism in Haim Hazazs The Sermon

The close ties between the evolution of the Arab identity and nationalism and Modern Hebrew literature are one of the major, interesting features of the ‘new’ Jewish history. The Hebrew literary institution, during the pre-state era, was one of the most important elements of the crystallization of knitted foundations which developed and were established and functioning when the state was instituted (Band 2003). To apply the modern discourse, it can be assumed that the Hebrew literary institution was a leading component in the creation of the Zionist story, such as the organisation of outlooks, representations, and stories which the movement of Zionism created, consciously or unconsciously, in its effort to unite the Jewish people, for attempts resulting in the formation of a Jewish independent state in the inherited native soil. Consequently, the formation of an independent state has produced a series of new conditions that have heightened the flourishing of Hebrew literary works in Israel in the not so distant past. While this narrative has frequently been recounted, the continuity between the development of Hebrew literature and the formation of the state has altered the historiographic viewpoint on the era (Band 2003). The perspective has been basically natural: the Hebrew literature and the Arabic identity are depicted as parallels maturing together. Credit is given to the pre-state literary works of Haim Hazaz and other established authors. Although it is customary to focus upon what appears to be the new attempts to provide expression to the developing reality of Arabic identity and statehood, the consequent reality is unfinished. Even when creating a literary narrative distantly, most scholars prefer to group the authors of a literary era together and afterward interpret authors and literary works independently, mapping out their growth from time to time in their lives. This is perhaps the most logical means to address the diversity and evolution of artistic output (Band 2003). If we aspire to make sense of the contemporaneous nature of a literature in a particular period, how authors and spectators of different periods interrelate in reality, how social and political circumstances might have influenced them as a generation, we should delve deeply into the dominant themes, such as the evolution of Arab identity and nationalism in Haim Hazaz’s seminal work ‘The Sermon’.

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