Sneak Preview: The Most Bewildering Book in the Bible

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Bonus episode tomorrow: we look at the Book of Job and the fascinating question of why a good, all-powerful God permits pain and suffering. And what happens when a lowly human dares to ask this question? The dialogue between God and Job is without a doubt one of the greatest moments in all of literature.

Joan Acocella offers some thoughts on the significance of the book and the reasons why it still fascinates today:

I believe that if you woke a lot of people in the middle of the night, and asked them why they cared about the Book of Job, they would name the most troubling, least sympathetic character in that document: God. He, not Job, is the star of the Book, and though he is not loving or fair, that seems to be part of the attraction.

Image credit: William Blake’s “Behemoth and Leviathan,” creatures of an all-powerful God. courtesy Morgan Library & Museum (newyorker.com).

History of Literature Episode 2 – The Hebrew Bible

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Examining the literary qualities of the most successful religious text in the history of the world.

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Sneak Preview: Nietzsche Stands in Trembling Awe…

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What inspired Nietzsche? Strong, powerful stories about strong, powerful characters. Seizers of the day. Grabbers of life by the throat. Wrestlers with the human condition.

Where did he find them?

In the Jewish `Old Testament’, the book of divine justice, there are men, things and speeches of so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to set beside it. One stands in reverence and trembling before these remnants of what man once was…

Join us Monday for the next episode of The History of Literature, when we take a look at the Hebrew Bible.