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Jephthah’s Daughter As Object Of Desire Or Feminist Icon

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Chapter Summary

The narrative of Jephthah and his daughter has inspired approximately five hundred artistic treatments throughout the history. This chapter intends to explore two of the more radical re-workings of the narrative set in modern times: Naomi Ragen's Jephte's Daughter and Richard Gandrup's Jeftas Datter. The author main purpose is to see how modern literature deals with the issue of violence by engaging in dialogue with biblical tradition. The chapter makes comparative analyses of three elements of the narrative: story, narrator and character. It discusses the novels in terms of their strategies for interpreting the biblical text and briefly reflects on the impact of this literature, examining, for example, reviews. Ragen's work is the author main focus, since it prompts questions of how and whether a contemporary feminist can make use of this vicious narrative. The earlier Danish piece serves as a contrast, illustrating an emphatically male-oriented reading.

Keywords: biblical tradition; Danish piece; Daughter; Desire; feminist icon; Jephthah; modern literature; Naomi Ragen; Richard Gandrup



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