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The Bible and its Rewritings by Piero (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Rome 'La Sapienza') Boitani


The Bible and its Rewritings by Piero (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Rome 'La Sapienza') Boitani

Piero Boitani discusses how some of the most fascinating scenes of Old and New Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Job, the Susanna story, the Gospel of John - are directly or indirectly rewritten in works ranging from the medieval period to the late twentieth-century: by Milton and Mann; by Chaucer, Dryden, La Fontaine, Orwell, and Kafka; by Faulkner and Tournier; by Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and Joseph Roth. Literature resonates with the mystery of recognition between human beings, and between God and humankind. The opening and closing chapters of the book examine this theme: from Abraham and Yahweh at Mamre to Joseph and his brothers, from Helen and Menelaus to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, from Pericles and Marina to Mendel Singer and his son Menuchim. The three central sections of the book discuss the means by which re-scripturing interprets the Scriptures: through truth or fiction; through letter or allegory; through liturgy, exegesis, catacomb frescoes, even churches themselves. This is an illuminating look at the Bible and its medieval and modern rewritings.


Boitani is a medievalist whose erudition transcends the formal categories, as... that of a true medievalist should. His detailed readings of scripture, Shakespearean drama, and modern poetry and fiction are compelling, often brilliant, often so wayward and wire-drawn - but never dull. The Bible and its Rewritings is nourishingly rich in texture, and has been marvelously translated from Italian by Anita Weston. * Paul Dean, The New Criterion, Jan 2000 *

About the Author

Lector of Italian, University of Cambridge, 1971-74 Lecturer in American and English Literature, University of Pescara, 1974-79 Professor of English, University of Perugia, 1979-85 Professor of English, University of Rome La Sapienza, 1985

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Book Info

Publication date

16th September 1999


Piero (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Rome 'La Sapienza') Boitani

More books by Piero (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Rome 'La Sapienza') Boitani
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Oxford University Press


248 pages


Literary studies: general
Biblical studies & exegesis
Philosophy of religion



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