Jacqueline Kahanoff: A Levantine Woman
Published by: Indiana University Press
Sales Date: 2023-11-07
Published: November 2023
Series: Perspectives on Israel Studies
Page Count: 392 Pages
Illustrations: 18 b&w photos
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
392 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.90 in, 18 b&w photos
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At the age of twenty-four, Kahanoff immigrated to the United States. Her stories, essays, and short autobiographical novel attest to her penchant to cross boundaries, generations, social classes, sexes, and Western and Eastern constructs. After immigrating to Israel in the early 1950s, she critically addressed the country's "provinciality" and "ethnic nationalism" as seen through her conception of a transnational Levantine culture. Through many writings, Kahanoff set forth her distinctive vision of Israel as a Mediterranean country with a broad, multicultural Levantine identity.
Drawing on an extensive array of sources, ranging from interviews with Jacqueline Kahanoff's acquaintances and contemporaries to unpublished writings, David Ohana explores her fascinating life and intellectual journey from Cairo to Tel Aviv. The encompassing vision of a Levantine Israel made Kahanoff the initiator of a different cultural possibility, more extensive than that offered in her time, and also, perhaps, than is offered today.
Introduction: Levantinism?Ex oriente lux
1. A Tale of Four Cities
2. Levantinism: A Cultural Theory
3. Kahanoff's Poetic Journey
4. "Where Can I Feel at Home?"
5. Being a Modern Woman
6. Beyond the Levant
7. Life at the Edge of the Line
Epilogue: Kahanoff and the Humanist Mediterranean Heritage
"With expository grace, David Ohana has penned an analytically supple and compelling intellectual portrait of a woman who embodied the vision of Israel's integration in an irenic multicultural universe of the Levant."?Paul Mendes-Flohr, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Chicago
"By sympathetically recounting the life and thought of the cosmopolitan Levantine intellectual Jacqueline Kahanoff, David Ohana blows on the dying embers of 'Mediterranean humanism' in the hope that they may still burst into glorious flame."?Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor Emeritus of History, University of California, Berkeley.
"This engaging biography of Jacqueline Kahanoff lays out her extraordinary journey between countries, languages, and intellectual milieux that shaped her rise as an independent-minded essayist and writer whose views on Levantinism and modernity attracted attention in Israel and beyond. An important book that deserves a wide readership."?Yael Zerubavel, Author of Desert in the Promised Land