Borges and the Bible
Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
Jorge Luis Borges is the darling of authors and critics who were once described as postmodern. Borges’s fictions assail the boundaries between text, world and self. In one sense, the fictions are mere rhetorical games, puzzles, or ‘tricks’, which disrupt communication (and interpretation), but they also suggest —at least to some —metaphysical uncertainties. To read them is as if one read the fictions of Hume or the Buddha.
Most of the literary and biblical scholars in this volume pair the Bible and its scholarship with one or more of Borges’s short fictions (particularly those first collected in English in Ficciones ), but some venture into Borges’s essays, poetry, and his life story (as he and others have told it). As to Bibles, some essayists focus on particular texts from the Hebrew Bible (like Genesis, Samuel, Kings or Job) or the Christian New Testament (like Mark, 2 Corinthians, or Revelation), while others engage traditions of interpretation like Gnosticism, the Kabbalah or academic biblical scholarship. Several focus on canon, translation, the craft of fiction, religion or hermeneutics as a way of thinking about Borges and the Bible.
With Borges, interpretation is ubiquitous. Whether consciously fictionalizing or not, all (biblical) interpretation transforms its precursor. All (biblical) interpretation becomes a play with secrecy and revelation. Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
|Table of Contents||
Introduction: Borgesian Bibles and Scholars
Part 1: Borges and the Jewish Bible
Surpassing (the Love of) Women: Homosociality, Homosexuality, and the ‘Sacrifice’ of Women in Borges and the Bible
The Eldritch Scroll: Fantasies of the Found Book in Borges, Lovecraft, and 2 Kings
Reader, Author, Character: A Confusion of Roles in the Borgesian Book of Job
The Artifice of Borges’s Narrators
Borges and Kabbalistic Infinity: Ein sof and the Holy Book
Religious Resonances in Borges’s Fiction
Part 2: Borges and the Christian New Testament
Reading Borges Re-writing Mark’s Gospel in Light of Seeing Arcand Re-viewing Jesus of Nazareth
Borges and Gnosticism: God Atones for (Having Created) Humanity in Borges’s “Three Versions of Judas”
The Garden of Unificating Paths
Adam and Christ: From Garden to Labyrinth
Books to Come: The Book of Sand and the Book of Revelation
With Borges in the New Jerusalem
Part 3: Borges and Biblical Afterlives
The Book of Desire
The Egg and the Peacock: Willis Barnstone’s The Restored New Testament and the Idea of a Borgesian Bible
Borges’s God, Jonathan Meades’s Precursor
The Afterlife of Borges as a Component in the Afterlife of the Bible