Drawing on Dan Miron’s concept of “literary contiguity,” this article arranges an encounter between two documentary novels about the experience of the First World War, both told from the perspective of a Jewish officer. Although rather different with regard to their place in the Modern Hebrew canon, the well-known novel The Great Madness (1929) by Avigdor Hameiri and the unknown novel Gold in the Streets (1946) by M. Y. Ben-Gavriêl reveal numerous topical and aesthetic intersections when read alongside each other. The joint analysis shows that besides their pacifism and general criticism of the logic of the nation-state, both novels share a common geographical and ideological trajectory. Their interpretation of the events depicted during the “Great War” envisages the Land of Israel as the ultimate destination of their protagonists.
© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston