Bereavement, breakdown, and the great heresy
DOI link for Bereavement, breakdown, and the great heresy
Bereavement, breakdown, and the great heresy book
The novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Joseph Haim Brenner (1881–1921) was in many ways the opposite of Ahad Ha-Am as a test-case of “heretical religiosity”. Brenner disdained abstract Ahad Ha-Amish schemes of secularism, optimism, and national morality, and was closer in mentality to Berdichevsky, whom he saw as “a great teacher, a sister-soul”. At the same time, he criticized the fashion for the “new Hebrew” in the culture of the Hebrew revival. Brenner made one of the most serious attempts in Hebrew literature to confront the existential paradoxes revealed by Nietzsche. His literary heroes wander hither and thither, go around in circles in the dark winter of existence, waver between one thing and another, and end in breakdown and bereavement.
A. D. Gordon (1856–1922), the intellectual spokesman of the first Zionist pioneers to Palestine, at the beginning of the twentieth century took part in the controversy about Nietzsche in Hebrew culture. Nietzsche’s idea about a higher morality, said Gordon, is not the absolute truth as power and supremacy are only one dimension of human existence.