ABSTRACT

This paper highlights what seems to the author an insufficiently examined way of relating one writer to another: a writer’s decision to textually align him- or herself with another author. Intertextuality is usually not thought of as connecting two people or two authors, but rather two texts. This paper does the former by looking at how Sayed Kashua, an Israeli Arab author and journalist, uses the image of Philip Roth in his newspaper columns. First, Kashua establishes Roth’s status as an author who was maligned by his community and presented an inspiration for Kashua, who has himself been accused of self-hatred. Second, Kashua presents Roth as a merciless satirist, especially of Jewish life, and thus presents himself as a much milder, forgiving writer. Third, Kashua stresses that Roth is Jewish but not Israeli, while Kashua is Israeli but not Jewish. Roth’s position is only partially familiar and related to the Jewish Israeli public. Kashua stresses this position to foreground the way he too, as an Israeli Arab, is only half-familiar to this same audience.

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