The Non-Chosen Body: Poetics And Politics in Alona Kimhi’s Lily La Tigresse

Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen

Abstract


Beginning with the female grotesque body in its midst, this study examines the bodies of key fictional characters from the center and margins of contemporary Israeli society that Alona Kimhi constructs in her novel Lily La Tigresse and considers their political implications. It asserts that the image of a well-built and almighty Jewish male body that the Zionist revolutionaries of the early twentieth dreamt of remains, in Kimhi’s view, a beau ideal in present-day Israel. However, the idealization of a healthy Jewish male body has given rise not to a healthy Jewish nation that the Zionist forefathers desired, but to a self-appointed sociocultural elite that seeks to sustain its position on the top by violently excluding all others who are pushed to the margins and left to invent their own identities. First published in Hebrew Studies 55 (2014). Published here with permissions of the author and publisher.


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