"Why Ask My Name?": Anonymity and Identity in Biblical Narrative

Hardcover | September 1, 1998

byAdele Reinhartz

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Unnamed characters--such as Lot's wife, Jephthah's daughter, Pharaoh's baker, and the witch of Endor--are ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible and appear in a wide variety of roles. Adele Reinhartz here seeks to answer two principal questions: first, is there a "poetics of anonymity," and if so,what are its contours? Second, how does anonymity affect the readers' response to and construction of unnamed biblical characters? The author is especially interested in issues related to gender and class, seeking to determine whether anonymity is more prominent among mothers, wives, daughters, andservants than among fathers, husbands, sons and kings and whether the anonymity of female characters functions differently from that of male characters.

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Unnamed characters--such as Lot's wife, Jephthah's daughter, Pharaoh's baker, and the witch of Endor--are ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible and appear in a wide variety of roles. Adele Reinhartz here seeks to answer two principal questions: first, is there a "poetics of anonymity," and if so,what are its contours? Second, how does anonymi...

Adele Reinhartz is at McMaster University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.09 × 6.5 × 1.3 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195099702

ISBN - 13:9780195099706

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. Anonymity and the Effacement of Personal Identity1. The Bit Players2. Servants, Stewards, and Armour-bearers3. Transmitters of InformationPart II. Anonymity and the Expression of Personal Identity4. Wise Women and the Unworthy Levites5. Wayward Wives and Multifarious Mothers6. Doomed DaughtersPart III. Anonymity and the Boundaries of Personal Identity7. The Convergence of Characters8. Character Confusion in the Heavenly Realm9. Crossing the Frontier Between Reader and Text

Editorial Reviews

"This is a superb study of anonymity in biblical narrative, a model of sophisticated and eminently readable literary analysis...Reinhartz has contributed a beautiful analysis of many of the most interesting, strange, and sometimes unnoticed figures in the Hebrew Bible, as well as an exemplarystudy of a neglected literary technique."--Journal of Biblical Literature