The Auto-Anti-Semitism of Yosef Hayyim Brenner

Why is the writing of this great modern Hebrew novelist so dark and anguished, and why does so much of it take such a ferociously negative view of Jews?

February 14, 2018 | Hillel Halkin
About the author: Hillel Halkin’s books include Yehuda HaleviAcross the Sabbath RiverMelisande: What are Dreams? (a novel), Jabotinsky: A Life (2014), and, most recently, After One-Hundred-and-Twenty (Princeton). 

A drawing of Yosef Hayyim Brenner by Chaim Topol. Wikipedia.

This, the eighth essay by Hillel Halkin in his series on seminal Hebrew writers of the 19th and early-20th centuries, is devoted to two figures: the novelist Yosef Ḥayyim Brenner (1881-1921) and the philosopher A.D. Gordon (1856-1922): “friends, mutual admirers, and public disputants.” 

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now