Thursday, November 27, 2014

What is David M. Carr reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David M. Carr, author of Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins.

His entry begins:
In my spare time I read mostly fiction, since it provides an angle on truth and writing that I miss in the mass of research reading that I do. I just finished reading (actually listening to) Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (as read by Juliet Stevenson). I listened to it twice, ever more impressed with the poetic language of the novel, Woolf’s exquisite depictions of the interior lives of her intersecting characters, and the fluid way she moved between the inner worlds of the different characters moving through the day. In one sense, the novel covers very little ground, the happenings of a single day. But in another sense the novel seems to say that the most important stories, for several of the main characters, had happened long ago. The novel traces the reverberations of these earlier stories--of love, rejection, and even wartime trauma--on the current lives of each character making their way through the one day in June. It impressed on me the...[read on]
About Holy Resilience, from the publisher:
Human trauma gave birth to the Bible, suggests eminent religious scholar David Carr. The Bible’s ability to speak to suffering is a major reason why the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity have retained their relevance for thousands of years. In his fascinating and provocative reinterpretation of the Bible’s origins, the author tells the story of how the Jewish people and Christian community had to adapt to survive multiple catastrophes and how their holy scriptures both reflected and reinforced each religion’s resilient nature.

Carr’s thought-provoking analysis demonstrates how many of the central tenets of biblical religion, including monotheism and the idea of suffering as God’s retribution, are factors that provided Judaism and Christianity with the strength and flexibility to endure in the face of disaster. In addition, the author explains how the Jewish Bible was deeply shaped by the Jewish exile in Babylon, an event that it rarely describes, and how the Christian Bible was likewise shaped by the unspeakable shame of having a crucified savior.
Learn more about Holy Resilience at the Yale University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Holy Resilience.

Writers Read: David M. Carr.

--Marshal Zeringue