Allusions to Henrik Ibsen’s plays in the works of two prominent Israeli modernist writers, Amos Oz’s autobiographical A Tale of Love and Darkness
(2004) and David Grossman’s The Zigzag Kid
(1994) examined in the context of the Israeli reception of Ibsen in the 1950s and 1960s. To establish the variety of meanings Ibsen’s plays had for the audiences of the Habimah production of Peer Gynt
in 1952 and The Kameri production of Hedda Gabler
in 1966, this article draws on newspaper reviews and actors’ memoirs, as well as providing an analysis of Leah Goldberg’s translation of Peer Gynt.
It emerges that both authors enlisted Ibsen in their exploration of the myths surrounding the formation of Israeli nationhood and identity.
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