Music plays a crucial role in the prose of Yehudit Hendel and Ruth Almog, two Israeli women writers who have been active since the second half of the twentieth century. This essay focuses on "Dwarves on the Pajamas" from Almog's collection of stories Invisible Mending (1993) and "A Tale of the Lost Violin" from Hendel's collection of stories The Empty Place (2007) and examines how the employment of acoustic images and musical intertexts creates subversive modes of representing a traumatic past. Moreover, scholars have pointed out the complex history of the reception of Almog and Hendel's respective work and how critics neglected or dismissed the social, ethical, or political aspects of their literature. I refer to psychoanalytical and critical theory to show that both writers borrow musical means in order to effectively explore cultural issues of testimony and remembrance, documentation, and narration of past events relating to Europe and Israel, the catastrophe of World War II, and the War of 1948. The analysis of their prose sheds light not only on these writers' specific works but also on the dynamics of Israeli memory, as conveyed through the literary representations of a monolithic national narrative as opposed to the stories that are rejected by this narrative.
"Taboo, Disaster, and Acoustic Reminders in Ruth Almog and Yehudit Hendel,"
Criticism: Vol. 61:
3, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/criticism/vol61/iss3/5