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p. 272. Reading biblical narrativelocked

  • Tod Linafelt

Abstract

“Reading biblical narrative” explores the workings of biblical narrative, using as examples the characters of Jacob and David and the books of Esther and Ruth, to bring into focus those elements that make us feel that we are reading literature. It shows how biblical narrative counts on and exploits exactly that which defines the treatment of character in novelistic fiction: a genuine inner life and a private, complex subjectivity. The distinctively terse mode of biblical narration leads to obscure character motivation, but it is this that gives the literature its profound complexity as it forces the reader to negotiate the many possible ways of imagining the characters’ inner lives.

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