Item description for Surviving Lamentations: Catastrophe, Lament, and Protest in the Afterlife of a Biblical Book by Tod Linafelt...
Most contemporary interpretations of the biblical book of Lamentations focus on the figure of the "suffering man" as a role model for submission in the face of God's punishment for sin. Yet such a model offers small consolation to survivors of the Holocaust or other mass atrocities and also ignores chapters 1 and 2 of Lamentations, in which the personification of Zion laments her sufferings and demands a response on behalf of her dying children. In "Surviving Lamentations, " Tod Linafelt offers an alternative reading of Lamentations in light of the "literature of survival" (works written by survivors of catastrophe) as well as literary and philosophical reflections on "the survival of literature." He refocuses attention on the figure of Zion as a manifestation of a basic need to give voice to suffering, and traces the afterlife of Lamentations in Jewish literature, in which text after text attempts to provide the response to Zion's lament that is lacking in Lamentations itself. Seen through Linafelt's eyes, Lamentations emerges as uncannily relevant to contemporary discourse on survival.
Citations And Professional Reviews Surviving Lamentations: Catastrophe, Lament, and Protest in the Afterlife of a Biblical Book by Tod Linafelt has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 05/01/2000 page 121
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Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.76" Width: 5.79" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.87 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2000
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
ISBN 0226481905 ISBN13 9780226481906
Availability 0 units.
More About Tod Linafelt
Tod Linafelt is associate professor of biblical literature at Georgetown University.
Tod Linafelt was born in 1965.
Tod Linafelt has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Surviving Lamentations: Catastrophe, Lament, and Protest in the Afterlife of a Biblical Book?
could use some editing, but comes to life eventually Aug 19, 2003
If you read this and are bored and confused after the first 30 or 40 pages (chunks of which I found incomprenensible) DO NOT STOP. After some dull discussion of literary theorists such as Derrida, etc., this book comes to life once Linafelt begins to discuss classical Jewish sources. The author skillfully analyzes the division between hopeful sources (such as Isaiah) that emphasize future redemption of the Jews, and other sources that forego discussion of happy endings, as well as the difference between sources that emphasize Israel's sins and others that softpedal the issue.
The Life Of A Book About Death Nov 6, 2002
Tod Linafelt has produced a very short but extremely satisfying and thought-provoking book, which manages to fold together the Biblical book of Lamentations (both Linafelt's own literary dissection of it and other commentators' readings of it); the explicit responses and reactions to Lamentations in Second Isaiah, Targum Lamentations, Eikkah Rabbah and Eleazar ben Kallir's medieval poems; the implicit, post-Holocaust echoes of Lamentations in Cynthia Ozick's famous story "The Shawl"; and the thought of Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida on translation, the survival of literature and the literature of survival. Linafelt's analysis of all of these texts is sensitive and nuanced, extraordinarily so considering the brevity of the book and the amount of ground covered. You do not need to be a scholar to appreciate this work, just a careful reader who is willing to approach the texts with an open mind. A superb dicussion of an ancient work that will (unfortuantely) be relevant as long as people are willing to be unspeakably cruel to others.
Thoughtful, erudite, and beautifully written Oct 27, 2001
I read this book last spring, and found it profoundly thoughtful, provoking all kinds of reflection about the relationship between religion, poetry, and suffering. After the September 11 catasrophe, I went back and read it again. Professor Linafelt's explorations of the poetry of survival and the literature of catastrophe resonate powerfully in our new situation. This book is one of those extremely rare combinations of scholarly erudition and welcoming accessibility. It opens up new worlds of reflection.