Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Oh! How I could fly on the viewless wings of Poesy!!!

November 20, 2007

I have just been allocated an Extension English class for next year! Wooo!!!
I get to teach solid texts from the canon and I’m very excited about it.

My first task is to choose a theme or a character that has been represented in literature throughout the centuries. I have a few ideas. For example we could study ‘Heroes’ and look at Beowulf, The Odyssey, Ulysses as represented by Joyce in Ulysses and then I would need some contemporary texts including poetry and film. Or a closely related theme we could study could be ideas of ‘Saviours’ in literature throughout history. Or we could study the theme of ‘Redemption’ and look at Cry, the Beloved Country

Ooooh! There are so many good options my mind is all a flutter! What theme would you study – either one of mine or of your own invention – and which film, poetry and fiction texts would you choose?

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On Order & the Bible

November 2, 2007

I’m feeling kind of ripped off. Yesterday I discovered that the books of my Bible are in the wrong order!!! Can you believe it?!

Our lecture yesterday touched on the order of scripture and noted that while we, as Westerners, tend to approach things quite chronologically, the Hebrew people historically approached things more thematically. The result of which was that the scriptures were reordered to reflect a chronological rather than thematic focus. This, my lecturer argued, has lead to us failing to make connections that the original audience would have made quite logically. It also means we diminish the unity of the scriptures. He gave numerous examples – at which point my head exploded – one of which was that traditionally Chronicles was the last book of the Jewish Scriptures. This is significant because Chronicles begins with a genealogy that is then continued in Matthew and this is only the beginning!!!

Did you know this?

Do you feel as ripped off as me?

This revelation made me wonder about the role of man in recording and passing on God’s word. It’s such an important thing! How could we get it so wrong at times? And then I wondered, if God is in control of this, why did he allow the books of the scriptures to be rearranged? Especially if it means we are missing out, or at least working very hard to get back, significant connections. If the changes happened way back at the completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts, was the reordering part of God’s plan in reaching those outside the Hebrew communities? Those who think chronologically rather than thematically.

What do you think?

Do you feel as ripped off as I do?

Where can I get my hands on a Jewish Bible? I want to read that Bible cover to cover and see what I find.

The original order of the scriptures:

The Torah

1. Genesis [בראשית / B’reshit]
2. Exodus [שמות / Sh’mot]
3. Leviticus [ויקרא / Vayiqra]
4. Numbers [במדבר / B’midbar]
5. Deuteronomy [דברים / D’varim]

The books of Nevi’im

6. Joshua [יהושע / Y’hoshua]
7. Judges [שופטים / Shophtim]
8. Samuel (I & II) [שמואל / Sh’muel]
9. Kings (I & II) [מלכים / M’lakhim]
10. Isaiah [ישעיה / Y’shayahu]
11. Jeremiah [ירמיה / Yir’mi’yahu]
12. Ezekiel [יחזקאל / Y’khezqel]
13. The Twelve Minor Prophets [תרי עשר]

I. Hosea [הושע / Hoshea]
II. Joel [יואל / Yo’el]
III. Amos [עמוס / Amos]
IV. Obadiah [עובדיה / Ovadyah]
V. Jonah [יונה / Yonah]
VI. Micah [מיכה / Mikhah]
VII. Nahum [נחום / Nakhum]
VIII. Habakkuk [חבקוק /Khavaquq]
IX. Zephaniah [צפניה / Ts’phanyah]
X. Haggai [חגי / Khagai]
XI. Zechariah [זכריה / Z’kharyah]
XII. Malachi [מלאכי / Mal’akhi]

The Ketuvim

14. Psalms [תהלים / T’hilim]
15. Proverbs [משלי / Mishlei]
16. Job [איוב / Iyov]
17. Song of Songs [שיר השירים / Shir Hashirim]
18. Ruth [רות / Rut]
19. Lamentations [איכה / Eikhah]
20. Ecclesiastes [קהלת / Qohelet]
21. Esther [אסתר / Est(h)er]
22. Daniel [דניאל / Dani’el]
23. EzraNehemiah [עזרא ונחמיה / Ezra wuNekhem’ya]
24. Chronicles (I & II) [דברי הימים / Divrey Hayamim]

Absorbed: me not the falling rain which lies in deep puddles all around.

April 25, 2007

While it rains outside I’m snuggly and warm reading The Lord of the Rings Part 1, pretending to be a hobbit going on a long journey through enchanted forests and long grass…

hobbit-grass.jpg

I’m hoping to be surprised by elves.

But it seems the day is too wet for hobbits too.

Do you ever read and feel so completely absorbed by a book? So absorbed that even the weather seems to be directed by the narrative? It happened today when I read Chapter VII of The Fellowship of the Ring:

Water dripped down from the leaking gutters above. Before she had finished breakfast the clouds had joined into an unbroken roof, and straight grey rain came softly and steadily down. Behind its deep curtain the Garden was completely veiled.

As she looked out of the window there came falling gently as if it was flowing down the rain out of the sky, the clear voice of children singing above. She could hear few words, but it seemed plain that the song was a rain-song, as sweet as showers on dry hills, that told the tale of a river from the spring in the highlands to the Sea far below. Missmellifluous listened with delight; and was glad in her heart, and blessed the kindly weather, because it delayed her from departing. The thought of going had been heavy upon her from the moment the holidays ended; but she guessed now that she would go no further today.

The upper wind settled in the West and deeper wetter clouds rolled up to spill their laden rain on the bare heads of the flowers. Nothing could be seen all round the house but falling water. Missmellifluous stood near the open door with a book in her hand and watched the stone pavers in the path turn into a little river and go bubbling away down into the garden. Tom Bombadil came trotting round the page of her novel, waving his arms as if he was warding off the rain- and indeed when he sprang over the threshold he seemed quite dry, except for his boots. These he took off and put in the chimney-corner. Then he sat in the largest chair and called the hobbits to gather round him.

‘This is Goldberry’s washing day,’ he said, ‘and her autumn-cleaning. Too wet for hobbit-folk – let them rest while they are able! It’s a good day for long tales…’

missmellifluous agreed and drew near, listening in anticipation.