SALOME, Princess of Galilee by Henry Denker

SALOME, Princess of Galilee

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Once again the Gospel story is attempted, this time with Salome, step daughter of Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee, as central figure. The traditional figure of Salome, as she dances before the King, seeking to win his approval, and then- when he offers her a choice of rewards- asks for the head of John the Baptist, has been accepted, embroidered, and interpreted. But somehow no glimmer of sympathy is engendered; she seems to have earned the full depth of ignominy in the fate laid out for her, as her cupidity, her arrogant determination to chart her own course, her presumably childish desire to be conspicuous, to win the plaudits of men, her jealousy- and its bitter fruit, her fears- all combine to bring disaster on her people, herself. She loses the love of the Roman centurion when he deserts his post to follow the Christ. Even when she wins him back by sacrifice, when she tries to seek out Jesus to have him heal the blinded Cornelius, one is unconvinced of any change of heart. At the end, with the story of the crucifixion, Salome's conversion (faintly indicated in St. Mark's version), leaves this reader cold. It would seem almost impossible to reconstruct the immense emotional drama of the Gospels without emotional impact, but that is the end impression of this telling. The author of I'll be Right Home. Ma is out of his depth here. Only the stage set lives.
Pub Date: April 7th, 1952
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1952


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