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Reexamining the Allegorical Hermeneutic in A. B. Yehoshua’s A Late Divorce 1

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Abstract This article demonstrates the ways in which the allegorical hermeneutic of A. B. Yehoshua’s novel A Late Divorce (1982) is inextricably linked to the intertextual reservoir of Judaic culture, particularly by way of its dependence upon the stories, themes, motifs, and characters from the Judaic textual tradition. Additionally, it shows how Yehoshua’s novel subverts those narrative patterns along the lines of emphatically Israeli concerns, simultaneously providing a totemically charged connection with the Judaic textual tradition and evidence of a radical departure from it. Drawing on the theoretical perspectives of archetypal psychology, this study also provides a reexamination of the much-discussed persona of Naomi, the text’s central female character, with respect to her role as the “mediatrix of the unknown” and her use of predominantly culturally inherited points of reference to link the thematic portions of the novel.

Affiliations: 1: University of Utah

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