A study of the history of Jewish exiles and genocide, and the literary expressions that attempt to make sense of these catastrophes.
In this book Alan Mintz devotes a chapter each to selected catastrophic events and the literary response to them: for example, the destruction of the First Temple in 587 B.B.E. and the resulting biblical literature; the massacre of the Rhineland Jewish community by the Crusades in 1096 and synagogue poetry; and the pogroms in Russia and modern Hebrew poetry. These earlier responses are then compared to the treatment of the Holocaust in the Hebrew literature of the State of Israel with special attention given to the works of Uri Zvi Greenberg and Aharon Appelfeld.
Deeply felt and highly original, Hurban is a revealing study of an exceptionally rich literature in the context of an unavoidably tragic history.
Alan L. Mintz is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature at Brandeis University. The author of several well-regarded works in literary criticism, Mintz also has served as co-editor of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History since its founding in 1981.