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Sacred Tropes: The Laugh Of Abraham And The Birth Of Subjectivity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the subjectivity that explodes out of Abraham's laugh. To that purpose, a discussion of the four literary tropes, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, serves to investigate and reveal that idiosyncratic subjectivity virtually created by this biblical laughter. With the declared presence of Abraham's interiority, subjectivity becomes possible. The word subjectivity stands for how a human being thinks what s/he can do, feel, express, dream. The word "trope" acknowledges the imaginative mechanism by which a word, phrase, or complete story points to other levels of meaning. The type of connection between a word and the meanings it points to determines the type of trope. Abraham's laugh itself is ironic. Irony, the fourth and final trope here addressed, comes when one text or cultural practice parodies or pokes fun at another text or cultural practice.

Keywords: Abraham's laugh; sacred tropes

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