Literature as a Moral Laboratory

Literature as a Moral Laboratory
– Reading Selected 20th Century Hebrew Prose
Adia Mendelson Maoz

Modern Hebrew Literature is engaged with overt and covert, conscious and unconscious moral issues. Historical upheavals – wars, immigration, the establishment of the independent country, the formation of an old-new culture – all have brought extensive moral aspects to Hebrew literature, calling for an interdisciplinary research that combines literature and philosophy. This book adopts and develops the ethical criticism stream. It suggests a new reading in selected 20th century Hebrew prose, written by Agnon, Brener, Izhar, Shamir, Yehoshua, Kaniuk, and Grossman. At the heart of the book stands the metaphor of literature as a moral laboratory, which enables to present the relationships between ethics, literature and the moral life. This metaphor creates the basis for a new interpretative methodology that combines an ethical layer based on the philosophical works of Kant, Aristotle and Levinas with an aesthetical layer, based on literary rhetorical elements. Two groups of texts are examined in the book, in light of the suggested interpretative methodology: war stories and life stories. War stories focus on universal moral dilemmas and are engaged in searching for the moral duty, Life stories portray the question of the meaning of life from a moral perspective. The discussions in the book lead to questions of conflicts and otherness, raising meta-ethical questions such as the clashes between different moral perspectives. The book presents, for the first time, a detailed and elaborated discussion in the field of ethical criticism, in its Israeli context. By combining theoretical-philosophical investigations with textual-literary analysis and historical-cultural studies, the book gives new insights regarding the intersection of ethics, literature and culture.
Digital Edition ebook

Danacode:   110-20145 ISBN:  978-965-226-361-2 Language:   English Pages:   280 Weight:   480 gr Dimensions:  16X23 cm Publication Date:   12/2009 Publisher:   Bar-Ilan University Press

Similar Books