Twisting My Tale As A Way To Provoke You
Uvi Poznansky Author of Twisted, A Favorite Son, Apart From Love and Home
Being an artist, poet, and author allows me to awaken your senses in a variety of ways. I paint with my pen, and write with my brush. When a scene appears in my mind, I strive to convey it so that you can see, hear, and smell everything in it, through the point of view of my character.
My latest book, Twisted is a collection of dark tales. The first of them is a fantasy, Inspired by the biblical Book of Job. It introduces Job’s wife, a nameless, minor character in the Bible. But here she takes central stage, as she wakes up in a realm of strange beauty: Hell.
So I turn on my belly and crawl, finding my way in the dark, till at last I peek out—if only by a nose —through the mouth of the cave. Which allows me, for the first time, to take in the view.
It is breathtaking—not only because of the deep ravines slashing back and forth across the landscape, or the thick trunks of trees twining their roots one over the other, clinging forcefully to the rocky ledges; not only because of the volcanoes towering over the horizon, or the fine lava streams marbling the flesh of the earth, or that landmark, that pillar of salt beckoning me from afar, or the little flame dancing over there, then here, licking my knees—ouch!—or the bubbling of swamps along the winding path. No, it is breathtaking because to my amazement, I recognize this place.
A crimson glow is coming from below, as if an enormous sun is buried here, deep under the coals upon which I am crouching. If not for the eery glow, this is the valley cradling my village.
This beauty is but a background for something more profound: the search for who she is, for truth. In my story, the village elders have erased her name. They have stricken her identity from the books. And so, in life and in death, Job’s wife remains a woman on a quest. She will do anything—or so she thinks at first —to recover what she has lost because of these scribes. Here is how she rages against them, in a conversation with the devil-woman who escorts her down to Hell:
“But in this case,” I say, “let me ask you: who on earth gave them the idea that they are in charge of us village folk?”
And she says, “They are the keepers of history, woman. You ingrate! You should kiss their feet for putting your ancestry in writing.”
“Not mine, they don’t,” I say vehemently. “Oh sure, men’s ancestry is carefully kept. Our land, the land of Uz is named after Uz, son of Aram, son of Shem, son of Adam. But then— women? In my village they are of less value than cattle. So you tell me: is there any purpose for keeping the ancestry of cattle?”
She scratches her head, and comes up with, “None other than breeding, I suppose—”
“Exactly! Breeding, that’s what women are good for, in a man’s world. So their ancestry is forgotten, their names erased, their lives become mere anecdotes. In time, they become invisible holes in the fabric of the story. It’s as if they never existed.”
In Hebrew, the name of God is a riddle, ʻI’ll Be What I’ll Beʼ–and here, the title of this tale is ʻI Am What I Am‘, a play on the same idea, but with a different take. Let me suggest to you that writing a biblically-inspired story has its risks, which I take with grave consideration. To some readers, the Bible was written by the hand of God, and any stories inspired by it must be faithful to it: they must merely amplify the spirit with which the bible was conceived. If you are one of these readers, you might accuse me—perhaps rightly so—of blasphemy.
But let me offer a different possibility, a possibility of twisting the yarn… There might be unseen layers of history, unrealized truths that have been blotted forever on the old, sacred pages. These are the truths I try to imagine in my book, Twisted.
Books by Uvi, click on the titles for more details:
Ropes, Separation, Tear (by Uvi’s Father, Edited by Uvi)
Find out more about Uvi and her books, art, poetry at the following links: