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“I Sleep, but My Heart Waketh”: Contiguity between Heinrich Heine's Imago of the Shulamite and Amy Levy's “Borderland”

Devine, Luke (2016) “I Sleep, but My Heart Waketh”: Contiguity between Heinrich Heine's Imago of the Shulamite and Amy Levy's “Borderland”. AJS Review, 40 (02). pp. 219-240. ISSN Print: 0364-0094, Online: 1475-4541

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“Borderland,” by Amy Levy (1861–89), a refiguring of the
Song of Songs’ traditional allegory, reverses Song 5:2–6’s climax in which the Shulamite unwittingly neglects the advances of her “beloved” while he waits at the door. In “Borderland,” the Shulamite “lover” assumes the initiative by visiting her “beloved,” while he is instead passive. The diverse ways in which “Borderland” can be read reveal contiguity with “Das Hohelied” and “Lyrisches Intermezzo”
by German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), texts also dependent on the Songs of Songs. Indeed, Heine was Levy’s “favourite poet”; “Borderland” accordingly reflects her reading of Heine and the employment of similar poetics, though not necessarily continuity or unoriginality. This article therefore looks for what Dan Miron has labelled
“literary contiguity,” a process by which “tangible contacts” between “players” in the “modern Jewish literary complex” are identified. This approach identifies “relatedness” between Heine and Levy, but also acknowledges the “differences.”

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: literary criticism, writers, poets, Heinrich Heine, Amy Levy, Judaic theology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Luke Devine
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2019 12:09
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2020 08:42

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