Like all other nations, yet unlike all other nations : themes of heterotopia in Jewish literary conceptions of Israel
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This thesis probes the curious lacuna in Jewish literary output regarding specific conceptions of the future of the State of Israel. It posits that instead of directly engaging with possible Israeli futures, fiction presents a wide spectrum of alternate imaginings of Jewish state's present. In an attempt to find a suitable taxonomy for Jewish literary representations of Israel, this investigation examines six works: Theodor Herzl's Altneuland and Der Judenstaat, representative of the earliest imaginings of Israel; Amos Oz's Michael Sheli and Orly Castel-Bloom's Doli Siti, representative of an Israeli Jewish perspective; and Tova Reich's The Jewish War and Philip Roth's Operation Shylock: A Confession, representative of a diaspora Jewish perspective. This thesis argues that each of these Jewish literary conceptions of Israel can be understood to align themselves with Michel Foucault's formulation of the heterotopia. Furthermore, it suggests that the Israeli heterotopia portrayed in these selections displays decidedly negative characteristics constellating from the state's grounding in, elaboration of, and dependence upon the political ideology of Zionism. This investigation first makes clear the particulars, capabilities and limitations of the heterotopic construct before analyzing each author's engagement with and reaction to the Israeli manifestation of this concept. Paying particular attention to historical, geographical and ideological context, this work seeks to identify areas of both commonality and contention between the Israeli and diaspora authors selected with reference to their respective presentations of these heterotopic traits. Finally, this analysis investigates possibilities for reintegrative resolution of Israel's heterotopic status as revealed through the works selected, grounding the discussion of such potential resolution in a Post-Zionist ideological framework and suggesting directions for further research.