Most authors do everything possible so their readers will identify with the narrator. But this is not the case with Symbiosis.
Israel Hameiri purposefully and craftily succeeds in making his readers hate his narrator-protagonist. The novel bravely confronts the uglier side of the Israeli male, with his super-macho personality and his military history. All of the inner twisys of the narrator-protagonist are slowly exposed, and the story that the readers construct is rather different from the one we are told, and we are left sympathizing with the victim.
The novel takes place in a breathtakingly beautiful nature reserve in the Upper Galilee which boasts a natural cave. The cave is a potential death trap. Daniel, the reserve caretaker and the narrator, is a former military man who is married and has a child. He turns the cave into his lover`s den, bringing his lovers there as it suits him. In his free time, he writes his Masters Degree in Biology on the pseudo-symbiosis that occurs between hornets and figs. His academic study is also a focal metaphor for the relationships between the people on the nature reserve. The story leaps forward when Daniel`s newest lover fails to show up for work, and the plot continues to develop as both a criminal mystery and as psychological thriller. In the end, Daniel finally confides in his readers that he has murdered his lover. No one knows his secret, except for a homosexual who now controls Daniel`s fate. It is ironic that Daniel`s position has changed from being in full control to being controlled by someone weaker than himself.
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Hameiri|
|Author's First Name|| ||Israel|
|Language(s)|| ||Hebrew, German, French|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Am Oved|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||2000|
|No. Pages|| ||180 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Symbioza|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
French: Paris, Gallimard, 2003
German: Munich, dtv, 2003