nicola robinson on utopian zionism in altneuland


Nicola Robinson, ‘Utopian Zionist development in Theodor Herzl’s Altneuland‘, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 17, 3 (2013).

Theodor Herzl’s Altneuland depicts the opening stages of the Zionist settler-colonial project in Mandate Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth century. Specifically, Herzl represents land use, agricultural labour and Zionist collectivism, in other words the material means by which settler-colonisation can be achieved. This essay examines utopia and other literary strategies including Bildungsroman to demonstrate the narrative trajectory’s move away from an underdeveloped environment and society towards a prosperous one. This essay argues that in Altneuland Herzl projects a vision of settler-colonialism that is different to the contemporaneous reality, such that the text can be regarded as an alternative to the real-world ‘utopian’ project of Israel/Palestine.

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