The article examines the inter-personal silences in Yizhar’s war opus The Days of Ziklag (1958), pointing to their links with the establishment of the nation-state. Through a close reading of interpersonal encounters that involve silence, this article demonstrates that many of the communicational silences are connected to the phatic function, to use the terminology of linguist Roman Jakobson. I argue that toward the end of the novel, the violence of war has been silenced to the extent that the soldiers no longer verbalize it at all, feeling content in their silence. Moreover, this article unravels these silences against the backdrop of images of childhood, which recur in the novel’s descriptions of the fighters. As I argue, the depiction of the soldiers as children conveys a sense of “budding nationalism,” and exposes the position of the fighters as national subjects in the process of becoming.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Literature and Literary Theory