Sharon Meir


“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the Earth shall awake” (Daniel 12:2) – Wind, storm and skeleton in A Man and a Woman and a Man by Savyon Librecht


The article studies the existence and meaning of three elements (air, water, earth) found in the novel A Man and a Woman and a Man (1998) by Savyon Lebrecht, a contemporary Israeli author, identified among the new voices in Hebrew literature.


The three elements function as a leitmotiv that drives the plot. The article sets out to show the threatening effect of the elements of air (spirit), water (storm) and earth (skeleton) on the heroine, by means of analogy between the dream embedded in the Hebrew novel, and Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), and also through the analysis of the nightmare experienced by the heroine herself. This parallel demonstrates that the three elements hold a twofold function: all of them together arouse a flood of horror in the heroine, but, on the other hand, force her into an inner struggle over her problematic relations with her mother.


The article shows how mother-daughter relations are subject to persistent conflict, which affects the heroine's life, as well as the fashioning of her identity as an adult woman and as a mother.