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'Flowing Myrrh upon the Handles of the Bolt': Bodily Border, Social Norms and their Transgression in the Song of Songs

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This article presents a feminist approach to the Song of Songs that widely relies on Judith Butler's performative gender theory. It opens with a close reading of the appearances of the human body in the Song, showing that abundance of references to liquids in the biblical text carry strong allusions to body fluids. The article subsequently discusses the possibility of observing these references via a contemporary approach which views the human body's coherent form as a social construct, referring to Butler's reading of Mary Douglas's Purity and Danger. The article shows that through Butler's gender theory, one detects the connection between the fluidity of the corporeal borders in the Song, and the protagonists' exceptional gender behaviour.

Affiliations: 1: University of California, Berkeley


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