Tag: The Bible
Franz Kafka’s The Trial and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake arrived in English at almost the same time in the late 1930s,* two strange masterpieces without peer except for each other. They differ greatly in style but devote themselves conspicuously to the same agenda: the prosecution of their central characters in the surreal court of conscience … Read More
Rest in Peace. The phrase itself is a “dead metaphor”—so old and familiar, we no longer see it as metaphor at all. Rather, we see it as lamentable news of the most concrete, unvarnished fact of life: a death. But its root components in fact originate in an ancient metaphor, a comparison between sleep and … Read More
Biographer David Minter relays a fitting anecdote about Faulkner in Oxford, Mississippi, when Faulkner was less than ten years old. Young William and his grandmother, who he called “Damuddy,” liked to build “miniature villages in the family’s front yard,” Minter writes, “using sticks, grass, stones, and glass.” As an adult, Faulkner carried on building imaginary … Read More
2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, and it remains the finest English translation there is. “No other book has given more to the English-speaking world,” writes Adam Nicolson in the December 2011 issue of National Geographic. Robert Alter’s latest book, Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King … Read More
Harold Bloom says that Freud learned all his psychology from Shakespeare. Would it be radical to suggest that Shakespeare learned half of his psychology from the Romans and the other half from the Hebrew Bible?
Robert Alter says of the Bible’s authors, “[T]he Hebrew writers manifestly took delight in the artful limning of … lifelike characters … Read More