Download Beauty and the Enigma: And Other Essays on the Hebrew Bible by Francis Landy PDF

By Francis Landy

This ebook is a set of Landy's experiences at the poetics of the Hebrew Bible. The track of Songs is featured along the prophetic voices of Amos, Hosea and Isaiah, and essays at the Binding of Isaac and at the e-book of Ruth. all through, the emphasis all through is at the subversiveness, richness and ambiguity of the textual content, yet exceptionally its (often enigmatic) attractiveness. The thread of psychoanalysis and its metaphorical procedure attracts jointly this assortment from one of many Bible's such a lot delicate and specific literary critics.

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Additional info for Beauty and the Enigma: And Other Essays on the Hebrew Bible (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series)

Example text

The strangest experience was when I got my Isaiah to talk not only about being a poet, but about some of his compositions, specifically ch. 2 and the parable of the vineyard in ch. 5. I found I could say far more in fiction than I could in conventional critical analysis. It also showed me why I have found previous attempts by biblical critics to intersperse their discussions with fictional interludes unsatisfactory. Because it requires much greater intensity of thinking and writing. I look forward to James Linville's forthcoming book on Amos, which works through many of these issues.

The Woman, with her dark beauty, signifies the hidden longing of the daughters of Jerusalem. For if theirs is civilized beauty, hers is natural beauty, associated with sun and soil, and change. It incarnates the beauty of creation, and is the evidence of our intrinsic perfection. Civilization, founded in repression, resists this faith, without which it would have no validity. As the amoral, uncivilized Beauty, the Woman stands for the integration of good and evil, the totality of humanity and the world.

Virginity protects the self against intrusion; it remains a preserve and a mystery. Its corollary is the collective pride of the daughters of Jerusalem, and their concealed individuality. 39 However, erotic desire threatens to overwhelm this carefully brought-up, demure integrity, to submerge one self in the other, with rapturous abandon. The two types of beauty, fair and dark, city and country, may now be identified with the Apollonian and Dionysian poles of the aesthetic experience. The Dionysian urge, subversive, irrepressible, is contained by Olympian detachment, psychic distance.

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