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The Baroque Prophets: An Encounter Between The Hebrew Prophets And John Donne

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Chapter Summary

The history of the engagement between The Bible and Literature has been shaped by a certain conservatism and telling omissions. The curious contraction of the literary when it came into contact with the Bible was a symptom of two key pressures. Prophetic words, in contrast, frequently present themselves as slashing through the social fabric and the language that sustains it. Prophetic style seems to actively scavenge for words and phrases that, in Wisdom terms, fail, stinging like vinegar or running like a lame man's legs. The English translation 'Gilgal shall surely go into exile', fails to capture the sense of the Hebrew word breaking, folding back on itself, and mimicking the destruction of the shrine. The prophets, like John Donne, are concerned with arranging perverse meetings between extremes and with re-pasting and re-folding the cartography of the imagination.

Keywords: Baroque prophets; Hebrew prophets; John Donne



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