the short story project

90 Ahad Ha’am

Dan Miron On:

90 Ahad Ha’am by Yotam Reuveni

Yotam Reuveni is a writer (or rather writer-poet) of otherness and misfit. He is so as an immigrant who has ventured deep into Israeli culture while remaining a chronic outsider; a declared homosexual who refuses to enter the LGBT community and adopt its petit-bourgeois familial character; a lyric narrator who disregards the conventions of Israeli fiction and doesn’t adapt himself to any of its accepted styles. He lets himself remain, at least partially, within the boundaries of hallucinatory fiction, a path he took forty years ago with his first book In Favor of Hallucination.  On a flat, scorching Tel Aviv rooftop he employs the power of hallucination to create a story of a cultural world which might not have even existed the way he imagines it – the world of the German culture’s refugees who arrived in Palestine during the thirties of the previous century. That world fills the space created on the sweltering rooftop in between the visits of local men who confront the fantasy of “Deutschland” (in fact, almost none of the imagined protagonists in the story – Brod, Max and Stefan Zweig, Kafka, Wittgenstein or Engelmann – actually lived in Germany) with the sweaty, aggressive physical reality of the homosexual embrace in Tel Aviv.