Etgar keret: The minimal metaphysical origin

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Etgar Keret (b. 1967) is undoubtedly one of the most popular recent Hebrew writers. However, among critics, there is no unanimity as to the qualities of his oeuvre, both poetic and ideological. In this article, I suggest a new key for understanding Keret's writing and thinking - the concept of a minimal metaphysical origin. The out-of-date and unfashionable thinking of origin reestablishes the human in the allegedly "posthuman" era. The minimalism of the origin refers neither to the measures of Keret's stories nor to his language, but to the main feature of his poetic thinking: constitution of the whole human condition on the infinitely small but inexhaustible originary scene. This scene is further presented as a source of historical alternativeness. I view alternative history as a metaphysical-personalistic counterbalance to both radical determinism and relativism, and as a minimal metaphysical response to the tragic bewilderment in the face of life and history, when a bifurcation point (the significant center of alternativeness) is the minimal metaphysical origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
JournalSymposium - Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Alternative history
  • Eric Gans
  • Etgar Keret
  • Humanism
  • Matvei Kagan
  • Metaphysics
  • Minimalism
  • Origin
  • Tragic bewilderment


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