Anton Shammas (1763 words)

Anna Bernard (King's College London)
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Anton Shammas’ only novel Arabesques (Arabesqot, 1986) is notoriously difficult to classify, and even more difficult to summarize. It is a Hebrew novel in which Palestinians are the protagonists and Jewish Israelis are marginal players. It appears to be openly autobiographical: the narrator is also named Anton Shammas, and, like the real Shammas, he is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, born in 1950 in Fassuta, a Christian village in the Galilee. Yet the text disrupts any assumption of its veracity, announcing in its epigraph, “This autobiography is a disguised novel.” Its plot is exceptionally intricate, moving rapidly between the magical and the mundane, the mythic and the historic, in a manner that recalls the novel�…

Citation: Bernard, Anna. "Anton Shammas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 August 2012 [, accessed 05 August 2020.]

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