The Poetics of Alienation in Nathan Zach's Poetry

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Alienation in Nathan Zach's poetry is directed at the world, poetry, language, the poet himself and even at the reader. It is “total alienation” which expresses itself and functions through a variety of poetic means — by virtue of the impression the text makes upon the reader in the reading process no less than the explicit thematic elements. Zach's poetry subverts the nature of the traditional lyric. It removes the feeling of empathy, which is the main channel of contact between the addressor and the addressee in the lyrical message, and thereby undermines the very principle of lyrical communication. Alienation functions here as a “significant form” that conveys the message of a lack of belief in the possibility of creating a meaningful contact between the lyricist and his readers. However, together with this, such alienated and alienating poetry expresses a type of special modern sensitivity, which many Israeli readers of recent generations find themselves, paradoxically, capable of identifying with.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-42
Number of pages17
JournalOrbis Litterarum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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