In Conversation with Jonah: Conversation Analysis, Literary Criticism and the Book of Jonah
The author analyses the various conversations that occur between the characters in the Jonah narrative and the 'conversation' that occurs between the text and its readers. The study opens with an introduction to the field of conversation analysis, with a focus on one feature of conversation analysis-that a fundamental structure in the organization of language is adjacency pairs (for example, question/answer and invitation/refusal). Person notes how complex the adjacency pairs in the Jonah narrative are, and shows how they contribute to the narrative elements of plot, characterization, atmosphere and tone. He then refines reader-response theory (especially that of Wolfgang Iser) and provides a reader-response commentary on the book. The study ends with an analysis of the history of the interpretation of the book of Jonah, demonstrating how the structures of adjacency pairs in the narrative have been successfully and unsuccessfully interpreted.
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acceptance actual readers adjacency pairs Amittai angry Bible Book of Jonah Books of Joel cast change his mind Chapter characters Children’s commanded commentary conﬂict constructed dialogue contrast conversation analysis Cooperative Principle death-request direct speech Discourse discussion dispreferred response dispreferred seconds dry land example explicitly ﬁll ﬁlled ﬁlling ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬂashback ﬂight given Given-New Contract go to Nineveh God’s gracious and compassionate Hebrew Hebrew Bible indeterminacy inﬂuenced insertion sequence interaction between text interpretation Iser Iser’s Israel Jonah narrative Jonah’s account Jonah’s answer Jonah’s disobedience Jonah’s refusal Jonah’s request Jonah’s response Lacocque literary Lord Lord’s request mind concerning modern biblical scholars narrative’s narrator’s Ninevites Obadiah and Jonah omitted dialogue oral ordinary conversation pagan Paronomasia preferred response preferred seconds prophet qiqayon plant question Reader-Response Criticism repentance reported consequences sacriﬁces sailors Sasson satirical tone speciﬁc story structure Swallowing Jonah Tannen Tarshish text and reader verbal Wolff words Yahweh