Zionism and Melancholy

Zionism and Melancholy

The Short Life of Israel Zarchi
Nitzan Lebovic
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/01/2019
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04181-4
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Description

This product is currently in production and will be available on 06/01/2019

Nitzan Lebovic claims that political melancholy is the defining trait of a generation of Israelis born between the 1960s and 1990s. This cohort came of age during wars, occupation and intifada, cultural conflict, and the failure of the Oslo Accords. The atmosphere of militarism and conservative state politics left little room for democratic opposition or dissent. Lebovic and others depict the failure to respond not only as a result of institutional pressure but as the effect of a long-lasting "left-wing melancholy." In order to understand its grip on Israeli society, Lebovic turns to the novels and short stories of Israel Zarchi. For him, Zarchi aptly describes the gap between the utopian hope present  in Zionism since its early days and the melancholic reality of the present. Through personal engagement with Zarchi, Lebovic develops a philosophy of melancholy and shows how it pervades Israeli society.

Author Bio

Nitzan Lebovic is Associate Professor of History and Apter Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values at Lehigh University. He is author of The Philosophy of Life and Death: Ludwig Klages and the Rise of a Nazi Biopolitics, the editor (with Roy Ben-Shai) of The Politics of Nihilism: From the Nineteenth Century to Contemporary Israel, and editor (with Andreas Killen) of Catastrophes: A History of an Operative Concept.

Reviews

“Zionism has produced a form of political melancholia that we have not yet sufficiently understood. In order to understand it, argues Nitzan Lebovic, we must carefully trace a genealogy of this political affect which is constituted by a nostalgic sense of loss and by an anxious dread of the future.”
 — –Na’ama Rokem, author of Prosaic Conditions

“A truly original work that engages the pervasive condition of melancholy facing many progressive and left-wing artists, thinkers, scholars, and political actors. The short life of Israel Zarchi becomes the vehicle by which Nitzan Lebovic interrogates the demands, implications, and surprising virtues of the melancholic in the present.”
 — Eugene Sheppard, author of Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile

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Table of Contents

List of Israel Zarchi’s Works under Discussion

Preface

Introduction

1. The History of a Failure

2. The Early Novels

3. Jerusalem, Messianism, Emptiness

4. Political Theology and Left-Wing Melancholy

5. In an Unsown Land

6. The History and Theory of the Melancholic Discourse

7. The Revival of Hebrew: Utopia, Indistinction, Recurrence

Afterword

Selected Bibliography

Index