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BIC Excellence Award

Profane Scriptures
Reflections on the Dialogue with the Bible in Modern Hebrew Poetry

By Ruth Kartun-Blum

Profane Scriptures
Hardback, 112 pages £17.00
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9780878200542
Format: 9mm x 6mm
Buy this Book

Paperback, 112 pages £13.00
Published: 2011
ISBN: 9780878200559
Buy this Book

Twentieth century Hebrew poetry engages the Bible in an ongoing battle. Modern iconoclastic Hebrew poets fight for their independence from biblical traditions, and they do so by practicing a form of subversive midrash. The ancient rabbis enjoyed developing innovative midrashic methods that would show the reader how the conclusions were drawn from the text. But the modern Hebrew poet uses a new midrashic method that seeks to neutralize the Bible's sway over modern Israeli life. Despite Israel's political secularism, the biblical traditions still have a significant impact on Israeli society. The poet is forced to contend with the Bible.

The revival of the Hebrew language itself, which took place in less than a one-hundred year span, drew upon textual models of old. First among them was the Bible. A Zionist ideology steered that decision since the Bible provided the deed for ownership of the land. Biblical language and traditions reverberate through modern writers both intentionally and unintentionally because the language provides so much opportunity for contact. The poets address and sometimes subvert the biblical tradition through puns, playing with the Hebrew morphology, and intertextuality. Kartun-Blum employs historical, rhetorical, and feminist approaches to illuminate these techniques.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 112 pages
 9mm x 6mm

 Paperback , 112 pages

BIC Code:
  LIT004210, SOC049000
 Hebrew Union College Press


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