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G dialogue about the feminine and divine Pilate's Wife was written by HD in revised in and is now finally published by New Directions edited with an introduction by HD scholar Joan Burke It is a testament to Alicia Ostriker's claim that among the women poets and novelists of this century HD is the most profoundly religious the most seriously engaged in spiritual uest. This book is excellent I have loved HD's poetry for a long time but this is the first novel I have read by her As is also evident in her poetry HD has a very deep and intuitive as well as factually rich sense of Antiuity and this book is less like other historical fiction and like a photographic portal into another time in this case 1st century AD Veronica is a very real and subtly drawn character For the reader she blooms especially in the depictions of her introspections In the course of the book she blooms in and of herself too in the sense that she had been obstructed and it seemed stunted spiritually and ethically because of her social position as an upper class woman and she finds the humanity she has been ripe for She's very analytical but not in an unkind way And when she discovers the spiritual dimensions of reality through her conversations with the fortune teller Mnevis and later through the helpful action that becomes the core of the plot her sense of these less articulable depths of existence are added onto her crystalline intelligence rather than negating it giving her conscious insight into the lives and meanings as well as uncertainties of meaning in herself and others and a feeling of calling to be herself vital and intensely genuine as she now sees is possible
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Pilate's WifeEn have an important place in the spiritual hierarchy What follows is a chain of events in which Veronica commits the one genuine act of her life offering Jesus a way out before his crucifixionThis revision of biblical history in the tradition of D H Lawrence's The Man Who Died and Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ is not just a novel but part of the ongoin. Oh where to even start with this oneThe story is told from the perspective of Pilate's wife Claudia Procula though HD wanted to use Veronica as the wife instead Having visited a seer Mnevis Veronica turns her life around and attempts to convince her husband to release Jesus Pilate of course ignores her words and her warningsAs HD admits openly in the first page or so this is not a new story that she tells Her point was to take a woman from the Bible that is mentioned almost in passing and give her a place in the story It's happened and recently The Red Tent The Penolopiad etc but for being written in the twenties it was not as common to tell a primarily man's tale through the eyes of a woman As a feminist text HD's story can rock it a bit though it has little going for it than thatHD had difficulties publishing it even back in the day and it was eventually published posthumously It's clear that there's still little love for this little book in the Interworld which makes me sad as HD was a fantastic woman a fantastic writer and a brilliant poet I would hope anyone reading her for the first time would not choose Pilate's Wife or at least wouldn't hold it against her I have enough love for HD that I can pass this one off as a brain fart on her end and move on Perhaps I'll read HERmione again to cleanse my palate