The Art of Biblical Narrative

Front Cover
Basic Books, Apr 26, 2011 - Religion - 272 pages
From celebrated translator of the Hebrew Bible Robert Alter, the classic study of the Bible as literature, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award.
Renowned critic and translator Robert Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative has radically expanded our view of the Bible by recasting it as a work of literary art deserving studied criticism. In this seminal work, Alter describes how the Hebrew Bible's many authors used innovative literary styles and devices such as parallelism, contrastive dialogue, and narrative tempo to tell one of the most revolutionary stories of all time: the revelation of a single God. In so doing, Alter shows, these writers reshaped not only history, but also the art of storytelling itself.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaJeanne - LibraryThing

Now having just reread my old copy, I realize that Alter has recently put out a revised edition. It would, of course, be interesting to read that, but certainly the original has held up well over ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

51. [The Art of Biblical Narrative (Revised and Updated)] by Robert Alter (1981, revised and updated in 2011, 248 pages, read Aug 14 – Sept 11) lilbrattyteen has a spectacular review of this book ... Read full review

Contents

1 A Literary Approach to the Bible
1
2 Sacred History and the Beginnings of Prose Fiction
25
3 Biblical TypeScenes and the Uses of Convention
55
4 Between Narration and Dialogue
79
5 The Techniques of Repetition
111
6 Characterization and the Art of Reticence
143
7 Composite Artistry
163
8 Narration and Knowledge
193
9 Conclusion
221
notes
237
general index
241
biblical reference index
251
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About the author (2011)

Robert Alter is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime contributions to American letters, he lives in Berkeley, California.