on Edward Said

Said, Reuben Sachs, and Victorian Zionism (co-authored with Dan Reyes).

Drawing upon Edward Said’s critical engagement of Daniel Deronda’s enthusiastic support for Zionism, this essay contrasts Eliot’s espousal of the Zionist ideal to Amy Levy’s indifference toward it in her own response to Eliot through her 1888 novel Reuben Sachs.

Levy was not more consciously sensitive to the Palestinian natives than Eliot, but her inclination to reject the Jewish settlement of Palestine, along with her consistently pessimistic attitude toward colonialism in general, certainly counts as a major distinction. As Levy in her novel endorses those in the Anglo-Jewish community who would insist on Britain as their home, she tactically avoids allowing her characters to fall into what Said defines as the role of “colonial oppressors.”