The Poetics of Biblical Narrative
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The Poetics of Biblical Narrative : Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading

3.92 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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"This... is a brilliant work." -Choice"[Sternberg] has written a very important book, both for his comprehensiveness and for the clearly-avowed faith stance from which he understands and interprets the strategies of the biblical narratives.... a superb overview... " -Theological Studies"... rated very highly indeed. It is a book to read and then reread." -Modern Language Review"... Sternberg has accomplished an enormous task, enriching our understanding of the theoretical basis of biblical narrative and giving us insight into a remarkable number of particular texts." -Journal of the American Academy of Religion"... an important book for those who seek to take the Bible seriously as a literary work because it shows, more clearly and emphatically than any book I know, that the Bible is a serious literary work-a text manifesting a highly sophisticated and successful narrative poetics." -Adele Berlin, Prooftextsshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 596 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 35.56mm | 929.86g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0253204534
  • 9780253204530
  • 93,224

Review quote

"This ... is a brilliant work." Choice "[Sternberg] has written a very important book, both for his comprehensiveness and for the clearly-avowed faith stance from which he understands and interprets the strategies of the biblical narratives... a superb overview ... " Theological Studies " ... rated very highly indeed. It is a book to read and then reread." Modern Language Review " ... Sternberg has accomplished an enormous task, enriching our understanding of the theoretical basis of biblical narrative and giving us insight into a remarkable number of particular texts." Journal of the American Academy of Religion " ... an important book for those who seek to take the Bible seriously as a literary work because it shows, more clearly and emphatically than any book I know, that the Bible is a serious literary work - a text manifesting a highly sophisticated and successful narrative poetics." Adele Berlin, Prooftextsshow more

Table of contents

Preface1. Literary Text, Literary Approach: Getting the Questions StraightDiscourse and SourceFiction and HistoryForm and DoctrineThe Drama of Reading2. Narrative Models3. Ideology of Narration and Narration of Ideology Omniscience Charged and Monopolized: The Epistemological RevolutionThe Omnipotence Effect: Control Claimed and Disclaimed4. Viewpoints and InterpretationsPoint of View and Its Biblical ConfigurationThe Wooing of RebekahPositions and Discrepancies EstablishedThe Movement form Divergence to Convergence of PerspectivesNew Tensions and Final Resolution5. The Play of PerspectivesNarrator vs. GodNarrator and Reader vs. God and Characters Spheres of CommunicationThree Reading PositionsFrom Plot to PerspectiveFrom Ignorance to KnowledgePrivilege and Performance6. Gaps, Ambiquity and the Reading ProcessThe Literary Work as a System of GapsThe Story of David and Bathsheba: On the Narrator's Reticence and OmissionsThe Ironic ExpositionWhat Is the King Doing in the City?Uriah the Hittite Recalled to JerusalemDoes Uriah Know about His Wife's Doings? The Twofold HypothesisWhat Does David Think That Uriah Thinks? The Three-Way HypothesisHow Joab Fails to Carry Out David's OrderThe Analogy to the Story of Abimelech and the WomanOn Mutually Exclusive Systems of Gap-Filling: Turning the Screws of Henry James and Others7. Between the Truth and the Whole TruthFoolproof Composition in AmbiguityThe Relevance of AbsenceTemporary and Permanent GappingThe Echoing InterrogativeOpposition in JuxtapositionCoherence Threatened and FortifiedNorms and Their ViolationsFrom Gapping to Closure: The Functions of Ambiguity8. Temporal Discontinuity, Narrative Interest, and the Emergence of MeaningSuspense and the Dynamics of ProspectionThe Pros and Cons of Suspense in the BibleModes of Shaping the Narrative FutureDarkness in Light, or: Zigzagging toward Sisera's EndCuriosity and the Dynamics of RetrospectionJoseph and His Brothers: Making Sense of the PastSurprise and the Dynamics of Recognition9. Proleptic PortraitsCharacter and Characterization: From Divine to HumanWhy the Truth about Character Does Not SufficeThe Art of the Proleptic EpithetEpithets and the Rule of Forward-looking Exposition10. Going from Surface to DepthCharacter as Action, Character in ActionThe Composition of Character and the Limits of Metonymic InferenceOld Age in GenesisGood Looks in Samuel11. The Structure of Repetition: Strategies of Informational RedundancySimilarity Patterns and the Structure of RepetitionFormulaic Convention or Functional Principle?Constant and Variable FactorsVerbatim RepetitionRepetition with Variation: Forms and Functions of DevianceRepetition and Communication: Pharah's DreamBasic Axes and Natural CombinationsFrom Natural to Functional CombinationsDeliberate Variation: (Figural) Rhetoric within (Narratorial) RhetoricGeneric Transformation into ParablePermutations and Some ComplicationsRepetition and Narrative Art: Some General Consequences12. The Art of PersusionPersuading in the Court of ConscienceDelicate Balance in the Rape of DinahThe Rhetorical Repertoire13. Ideology, Rhetoric, PoeticsJustifying the Ways of God to Man: Saul's RejectionDancing in ChainsDialogue as Pressure, Variations as JudgmentConvergence with Belated Discovery: Rhetorical OverkillNotesIndexshow more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 35% (9)
4 35% (9)
3 23% (6)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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