Page 43 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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— She everywhere.
— Shut up.
— The earth will turn upside down.
— Don’t start in on the earth now.
— Then maybe the sky. Maybe the she-sky.
— That’s enough. Stop it!
— Because you know what I’ve been thinking. Godina,
Queen of the Universe.
— No. Anything but that. . .
— Godina. It’s so simple. It’s perfect.
— It’s insane.
— Godina. What a brilliant idea.
The hallucinatory inner voice proclaiming a female Deity who
will banish all maleness from the cosmos, as once a male God
sought to banish the feminine, speaks to Naomi, it will be noted
“from deep in the earth.” Similarly, in the chapter-concluding
passage following this internal dialogue, Naomi has a vision that
“around me out among the trees women are stirring dancing up
out of the earth.” The eruption of the repressed in her own un­
conscious presages, as it were, the violent return of the Repressed
Feminine in the world itself.
As for the “epiphany” in which Yehuda Kaminka’s symbolic
identity as God-the-Father becomes clear, this too occurs at the
climactic end of a chapter — the novel’s ninth and last, which con­
cludes with the scene in which he is killed. Because this scene,
which is also told (by Yehuda) in the first person, is both so im­
portant to the novel iself and such an excellent example of how
Yehoshua uses seemingly “innocent” naturalistic detail to encode
a complex symbolic message, it is worth quoting in full. As it be­
gins Kaminka has just put on his wife’s dress to avoid being de­
tected by his son Asi and is hiding in a corner of his wife’s ward in
the mental hospital:
I walk to the door the giant is standing there limply hold­
ing his pitchfork listening. . . Asi steps inside and gropes for
the light switch. History as closure? No children there is al­
ways a way out. I freeze in my corner the hem of the dress