Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Sustaining Fictions: Intertextuality, Midrash, Translation, and the Literary Afterlife of the Bible
Stahlberg, Lesleigh Cushing

New York: T&T Clark, 2008 pp. xii + 240. $140.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 486


Description: Even before the biblical canon became fixed, writers have revisited and reworked its stories. The author of Joshua takes the haphazard settlement of Israel recorded in the Book of Judges and retells it as an orderly military conquest. The writer of Chronicles expurgates the David cycle in Samuel I and II, offering an upright and virtuous king devoid of baser instincts. This literary phenomenon is not contained to inner-biblical exegesis. Once the telling becomes known, the retellings begin: through the New Testament, rabbinic midrash, medieval mystery plays, medieval and Renaissance poetry, nineteenth century novels, and contemporary literature, writers of the Western world have continued to occupy themselves with the biblical canon. However, there exists no adequate vocabulary—academic or popular, religious or secular, literary or theological—to describe the recurring appearances of canonical figures and motifs in later literature. Literary critics, bible scholars and book reviewers alike seek recourse in words like adaptation, allusion, echo, imitation and influence to describe what the author, for lack of better terms, has come to call retellings or recastings. Although none of these designations rings false, none approaches precision. They do not tell us what the author of a novel or poem has done with a biblical figure, do not signal how this newly recast figure is different from other recastings of it, and do not offer any indication of why these transformations have occurred. Sustaining Fictions sets out to redress this problem, considering the viability of the vocabularies of literary, midrashic, and translation theory for speaking about retelling.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Interpretation

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). Enter your SBL Member ID and click the "Log in" button. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

I don’t remember my SBL Member ID.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).



SBL Membership Id:  


Review by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Published 3/12/2010
Citation: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, review of Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, Sustaining Fictions: Intertextuality, Midrash, Translation, and the Literary Afterlife of the Bible, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


Review by Oda Wischmeyer
Published 6/1/2010
Citation: Oda Wischmeyer, review of Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, Sustaining Fictions: Intertextuality, Midrash, Translation, and the Literary Afterlife of the Bible, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us
Site development by kenwells.com: graphic design