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Bibil Identifier bibil:202368
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Latecomers: Four Novelists Rewrite the Bible
Author Swindell, Anthony
Journal Biblical Interpretation (Volume: 15, Issue: 4-5)
Year (Publication) 2007
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2007
Year (Copyright) 2007
Year (Reference) 2007
Year (Second publication) 2007
Language English
Pages 395-404 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This essay examines the use of biblical stories as sourcetexts in four novels: David Maine's Fallen, Howard Jacobson's The Very Model of a Man, Muriel Spark's The Only Problem, and Gloria Naylor's Bailey's Café. While each goes about its business of rewriting the biblical story in relation to a particular contemporary agenda or concern (American consumerism, the crisis of theism, the viability of happy endings in fiction, the revolt against patriarchy), they have in common a sense of lateness which they ironically project onto the biblical urtext. A sense of lateness is typical of modern and postmodern rewritings of ancient narratives and indeed is a characteristic of late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century literary consciousness. By turning the biblical story into a latecomer, the four novelists simultaneously free themselves from deference to a story deemed sacred in Western culture and pay homage to its indispensability as a platform. Rewritings of this kind are of value both as a reality-test for pro-theological readings of the Bible and, by their very existence, as a barometer of interest in the Bible among the general reading (or cinema-going) public.
DOI 10.1163/156851507X194288
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Literature
Last modification 2017-10-27