chapter  6
Mizrahi Fiction as a Minor Literature
ByYochai Oppenheimer
Pages 17

This chapter traces the contours of the fiction written in Hebrew over the course of the last two decades by men and women who either came to Israel from Arab countries or were born to parents who arrived as part of that migration. It argues that the imprint of experiences, cultural positions and ideas that, despite many differences and even contradictions, create a common space of writing that may be called Mizrahi fiction. Mizrahi fiction differs from Israeli hegemonic fiction. It rejects the Oedipal narrative that was dominant in Hebrew Zionist fiction. Instead, it offers a narrative of intergenerational partnership and identification, principally between sons and fathers which may be referred to as a "negative-Oedipus" narrative. Mizrahi fiction frequently addresses music as a way of establishing an Arab Jewish identity in Israel that can create connections between the present and the historical-cultural past. The experience of remembering Arab music represents, more than anything else, the diasporic attitude of the Mizrahim.