Summer 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 3 NonfictionJuly 1, 1991 |

Esther, or the World Turned Upside Down

                                  for Richard Howard They tell the story of Esther to children. It's a folktale. Horror wrapped up as entertainment, threat of annihilation averted. Once a year we imagine the victory of the powerless as a game. Casting lots? Take a chance on Mordecai. And watch those plot twists. Number One Wife Vashti demoted for discipline problems. Esther wins Miss Persia contest to replace her. Sexy Jewess announces, "If I perish, I perish," and reveals secret of birth. Beauty queen becomes savior of her people. Evil scheme foiled, wicked Haman impaled on his own scaffold. A poke at the principalities and powers. King Ahasuerus, drunk again, countermands earlier order to kill all Jews. In a startling reverse move, all Jews get to kill their enemies. The story is good for thousands of years, for nothing much changes as we roll onward in history, in the normal life of empires where little pe

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The Interpretation of Dreams

By Alicia Ostriker

                                  for Richard Howard They tell the story of Esther to children. It's a folktale. Horror wrapped up as entertainment, threat of annihilation averted. Once a year we imagine the victory […]

Normal

By Alicia Ostriker

                                  for Richard Howard They tell the story of Esther to children. It's a folktale. Horror wrapped up as entertainment, threat of annihilation averted. Once a year we imagine the victory […]

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