Abstract

This article analyzes A. B. Yehoshua's 1963 novella Facing the Forests from a psychoanalytic perspective, in an attempt to decipher its many moments of internal contradiction, including moments many former critiques do not pay attention to. It will use Freudian and Lacanian accounts of perverse personality structure to demonstrate the protagonist's perverse and self-victimizing personality structure. The first half of the article explores the psychoanalytic notion of perverse structure, as well as the definition of self-victimization and its derivatives. The second half analyzes Facing the Forests in four sections and explores how certain traits of perversion—namely the dominant characteristics of self-victimization—serve to motivate the actions of the protagonist. The article concludes by suggesting the unique type of national allegory that such a reading entails, as it presents a collective, national state of self-victimization.

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