The Book of Genesis: A Biography

By Ronald Hendel | Go to book overview
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INTRODUCTION: The Life of Genesis

1. Walter Benjamin, “The Task of the Translator,” in Illuminations: Essays and Refections, ed. Hannah Arendt (new york: Schocken Books, 1968), 73.

2. Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 15.

3. Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1980), 38.

4. Frank Kermode, “The Uses of Error,” The Uses of Error and Other Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 4.

5. Auerbach, Mimesis, 310. Auerbach is primarily concerned with apocalyptic figuralism, in which events contain a prophecy of their future fulfillment. I include Platonic figuralism, granting, of course, that the different kinds of figuralism have distinctive traits. Auerbach perhaps understates the importance of Platonic figuralism because of his interest in nascent historical consciousness (see Mimesis, 196). My terms, Platonic and apocalyptic, correspond to the traditional rhetorical terms, allegory and typology, and serve to emphasize their philosophical orientation.


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The Book of Genesis: A Biography


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