"[Ginsburg] challenges accepted scholarly criticism that written and spoken Hebrew share a collective rhetoric and contends that each work in Hebrew literature is unique and stands alone without being linked to other literature by a common idea."—AJL Reviews
Critics commonly hold that the modern Hebrew canon reveals a shared rhetoric that is crucial for the emergence and formation of modern Jewish nationalism. Yet, does the Hebrew canon indeed demonstrate a shared logic? In Rhetoric and Nation, Ginsburg challenges the common conflation of modern Hebrew rhetoric and modern Jewish nationalism. Considering a wide range of literary, critical, and political works, Ginsburg explores the way each text manifests its own singular logic that cannot be subsumed under any single ideology. Through close readings of key canonical texts, Rhetoric and Nation establishes that the Hebrew discourse of the nation should be conceived of not as a coherent and cohesive entity but rather as an assemblage of singular, disparate moments.
Shai P. Ginsburg is assistant professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies at Duke University.