The conspicuous subtitling of Grete Weil's The Bride Price: A Novel is less an indication of genre classification than a clue to the difficulties of writing a life devastated by the Holocaust. Affording insights into the process of autobiographical writing, the subtitle suggests, and this essay argues, that the author develops a fictional intertext because it refracts the painful experiences of her life that elude direct autobiographical or testimonial treatment. Like Holocaust survivors who have trouble recalling their past in linear form, Weil stalls when she reaches certain areas of her own life. The novelistic intertext, constructed from biblical fragments of the story of King David's first wife Michal, enables Weil through narrative figuration and substitution to continue to write. The drama, resonance, and completeness of the fictional tale inversely derive from the difficulties of the autobiographical story and autobiographical purposes of Weil's writing.


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pp. 73-83
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