Samuel, Yael
October 2007
Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues;Fall2007, Issue 14, p9
Academic Journal
In Meredith Monk's classic feature-length film Book of Days, time plays a central role in creating a Jewish narrative that is simultaneously inside and outside time. Monk gives us a glimpse into the Middle Ages through a twentieth-century lens, then reverses that lens to have her medieval characters look at the twentieth century through their own lens, changing the way we think consciously of time as the distinction between earlier and later. A madwoman and a young Jewish girl are conduits of time: The young girl has visions of the future; the madwoman sees all of history; yet they are understood only by each other. As the plague spreads across Europe, the visions of the madwoman and the Jewish girl remind us that the miraculous and the monstrous are dual forces that conspire to create a oneness and a continuity of life.


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