By Carolyn J. Sharp
Was God being ironic in commanding Eve to not consume fruit from the tree of knowledge? Carolyn J. Sharp means that many tales within the Hebrew Scriptures can be paradoxically meant. Deftly interweaving literary idea and exegesis, Sharp illumines the facility of the unstated in a wide selection of texts from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings. She argues that studying with irony in brain creates a charged and open rhetorical area within the texts that enables personality, narration, and authorial voice to improve in unforeseen methods. major topics explored the following contain the ironizing of overseas rulers, the prostitute as icon of the ironic gaze, indeterminacy and dramatic irony in prophetic functionality, and irony in historical Israel's knowledge traditions. Sharp devotes detailed cognizance to how irony destabilizes dominant ways that the Bible is learn at the present time, particularly while it touches on questions of clash, gender, and the Other.
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Additional info for Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible
There is much irony here. The creator God speaks all things into their existence—not just into existence, but into their particular existence, speaks all things into the ways that they are. But further on, the act of pronouncing the nature of things inevitably obscures the simultaneous creation of differences between them. God’s speech (and the speech of the biblical narrator, when God is not being quoted directly)88 is holy and true, and yet unreliable. The divine word is powerful, yet we must perceive also the tremendous power of the unspoken in the moment of creation, in the very moment of assertion.
42 Clearly, we simply have contrasting readings of the existing poem, as we have always had—readings that may be responding to changing communal expectations about scholarship or irony or Swift as author, but readings that also take shape under pressure from a number of other catalysts, including, at least potentially, the reader’s genius and growing awareness of new contextual factors. Fish’s essay underlines the point that irony can be endlessly debated and that the criteria for determining what is ironic lie both within and beyond the hermeneutical endeavor proper.
Genre analysis is often needed, particularly to understand ways in which the medium of a communication may be being subverted by content inappropriate to that medium, based on expectations about what the genre is normally intended to signal. ) The apprehension of tone, without which irony is inevitably missed, requires literary analysis of plot, characterization, and tropes such as hyperbole and understatement. An understanding of implied audience(s) in any text is vital to grasp the power and point of the rhetoric, and there, contextual historical information may often be useful, even though the definition of audience is in part constructed by the reader heuristically as she reads.
Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible by Carolyn J. Sharp