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8 The Novel Form and the Timing of the Nation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses Benedict Anderson's seminal analysis in order to emphasize two crucial aspects that are often obliterated in the frequent invocations of his work. First, Anderson does not claim that the novel genre can inculcate a particular nationalist ideology, but rather that the novel is a technology that makes it possible to imagine "the kind of imagined community that is the nation". Second, this imagining consists in a particular "apprehension of time" that is particularly conducive to imagining a sense of national community. The chapter applies this insight to the case of Israeli author David Grossman's 1986 novel 'Ayen 'erekh: ahavah (See Under: Love). Grossman's novel is routinely recognized as a major intervention in Israel's national imaginary. In its last section, See Under: Love presents "the Complete Encyclopedia of Kazik's Life", a life that in the end generates "new buds of hope".

Keywords: Benedict Anderson; David Grossman; Israel; nation; novel genre; See Under: Love



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