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Lions and Ovens and Visions: A Satirical Reading of Daniel 1-6

£55.00

Are the stories of Daniel at the court of the Persian king simply cheerful tales of a clever and successful courtier, as many assume? Valeta doubts it, insisting that the playful and fantastic storyline must have a more serious meaning.

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SKU: 978-1-905048-53-3

Are the stories of Daniel at the court of the Persian king simply cheerful tales of a clever and successful courtier, as many assume? Valeta doubts it, insisting that the playful and fantastic storyline must have a more serious meaning.
The key to these narratives lies in their genre. These tales of lions and ovens and the like are examples of Menippean satire, argues Valeta, an ancient genre foregrounded in modern literary study by Bakhtin, who saw in the characteristic interplay of voices in the Menippean satire a prime instance of his ‘dialogism’. Especially typical of the Menippean satire is an indecorous mixing of styles and elements, which may be the explanation why the Daniel narratives are both comic and serious, Hebrew and Aramaic, episodic and unified.
Viewed as satire, the Daniel narratives emerge in their true colours as resistance literature to the regime of Antiochus IV —and so form a perfect accompaniment to the visions of Daniel 7 —12.

Reviews

  1. D.W. Rooke, SOTS Book list.

    The reading of Daniel 1–6 as satire rather than as instructional material on how to maintain Jewish identity in a diaspora community seems eminently plausible.

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Book information

Author
David M. Valeta
List Price
£55 / $90 / €80
Series
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 12
Scholars' Price
£27.50 / $45 / €40
ISBN 13 hardback
978-1-905048-53-3
Format
Hardback
Page Extent
xii + 230
Publication Date
September 2008
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