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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Yehuda Amichai

The Making of Israel’s National Poet

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Yehuda Amichai

The Making of Israel’s National Poet

Yehuda Amichai is one of the twentieth century’s (and Israel’s) leading poets. In this remarkable book, Nili Scharf Gold offers a profound reinterpretation of Amichai’s early works and reconstructs his poetic biography. Her close reading of his oeuvre, untapped notebooks, and a cache of unpublished letters to a woman identified as Ruth Z. that Gold discovered convincingly demonstrates how the poet’s German past infused his work, despite his attempts to conceal it as he adopted an Israeli identity.

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Table of Contents

Preface • Introduction: Camouflage as the Key to the Poetry of Yehuda Amichai • Childhood in Wuerzburg: A Dubious Paradise • The Murky Mirror of Wuerzburg in Amichai’s Work • Hiding between the Languages: The German Mother Tongue in Amichai’s Universe • Growing Up in Palestine • “And the Migration of My Parents Has Not Subsided in Me” • The Love Story • The Literary Legacy of the Love Story: “Binyamina, 1947” and “We Loved Here” • The Lovers in the Public Garden • The Haifa Letters: The Making of an Israeli • The Making of a National Poet • Conclusion: Retrieving the Abandoned Landmarks • Appendix A: Texts of Poems Discussed in Their Entirety • Appendix B: Map of Wuerzburg and Legend • Notes • Select Bibliography • Index

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