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Title: The Life of Metaphor in Song of Songs
Subtitle: Poetics, Canon, and the Cultural Bible
Author(s): HENDEL, Ronald
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 100    Issue: 1   Date: 2019   
Pages: 60-83
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.100.1.3286050

Abstract :
The use of metaphor in Song of Songs is untypical of biblical poetry, particularly in the often fluid and dialectical relationship between vehicle and tenor, combined with its poetics of intensification. During the interpretive life of Song of Songs, the semantics of the metaphorical system undergoes two decisive shifts: during the canonization of the book in late antiquity, and in the early modern transformation of the book into a cultural text. Both shifts are rooted — in different ways — in the internal dynamics of the book’s metaphors. These shifts in the life of metaphor complicate our understanding of the relationship between biblical literature and the canon and raise the possibility for a rich concept of the literary work that integrates synchronic and diachronic dimensions of the Hebrew Bible.

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