Herzlian Matrix: Theme Parks, Promised Lands, and Simulacra

Stähler, Axel (2021). Herzlian Matrix: Theme Parks, Promised Lands, and Simulacra. Symbolism : an international annual of critical aesthetics, 20, pp. 139-166. de Gruyter 10.1515/9783110716962-009

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In his novel Old-New Land (1902), Theodor Herzl, the ‘father’ of political Zionism, elaborated in much detail on his vision of a Jewish State in Palestine. Criticized already by his contemporaries as a mere imitation of European cultural and technological achievements, Herzl’s vision has frequently been measured against the reality of the State of Israel. More recently, it has been suggested in two literary engagements with the Herzlian matrix that Old-New Land functions in a Baudrillardian sense as a simulacrum, or model of the real, which obscures the absence of a corresponding reality. Simon Louvish’s City of Blok (1988) is an early fictional critique of the widening chasm between the model and its real which, almost three decades later, was reiterated in a different format and presumably without knowledge of the earlier postmodern novel in Doron Rabinovici and Natan Sznaider’s semi-fictional Herzl Relo@aded (2016). In this article, I seek to trace both the characteristics of Herzl’s vision as a simulacrum that preceded the real and the potential influence of an early theme park on his conception of the Jewish state in relation to the criticial engagement of Louvish as well as Rabinovici and Sznaider with the Herzlian matrix.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > American Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Literary Theory

UniBE Contributor:

Stähler, Axel

Subjects:

400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 830 German & related literatures

ISSN:

1528-3623

Publisher:

de Gruyter

Language:

English

Submitter:

Axel Stähler

Date Deposited:

10 Mar 2021 08:06

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 08:15

Publisher DOI:

10.1515/9783110716962-009

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153079

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153079

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