Glückel of Hamelin's memoirs tell her life-story by using numerous modes of story-telling. She incorporates folk-tales, Bible stories, historical events, domestic and commercial scenes, prayers, and even fantastic tales of long ago to animate her life-story. These modes of discourse all demonstrate her ideas and convictions and guide her reader in correct moral behavior. This paper investigates the structure of Glückel's autobiography. By studying the type, placement, and emotional weight of her numerous stories-within-the-story and various rhetorical styles, one discovers in her work a unique narrative structure which echoes biblical midrash. By embedding her core narrative in a framework of multi-voiced textual commentary, Glückel creates a truly female midrash, a structure of textual commentary addressing the written record of a woman's life.


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pp. 63-72
Launched on MUSE
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