Pen of Iron: American Prose and the King James Bible

Princeton University Press
2
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The simple yet grand language of the King James Bible has pervaded American culture from the beginning--and its powerful eloquence continues to be felt even today. In this book, acclaimed biblical translator and literary critic Robert Alter traces some of the fascinating ways that American novelists--from Melville, Hemingway, and Faulkner to Bellow, Marilynne Robinson, and Cormac McCarthy--have drawn on the rich stylistic resources of the canonical English Bible to fashion their own strongly resonant styles and distinctive visions of reality. Showing the radically different manners in which the words, idioms, syntax, and cadences of this Bible are woven into Moby-Dick, Absalom, Absalom!, The Sun Also Rises, Seize the Day, Gilead, and The Road, Alter reveals the wide variety of stylistic and imaginative possibilities that American novelists have found in Scripture. At the same time, Alter demonstrates the importance of looking closely at the style of literary works, making the case that style is not merely an aesthetic phenomenon but is the very medium through which writers conceive their worlds.
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About the author

Robert Alter has taught Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1967. The author of more than twenty books, he has also published four volumes of Bible translation, most recently The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary (Norton). In 2009, Alter received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for lifetime contribution to American letters.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 8, 2010
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781400834358
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Semiotics & Theory
Religion / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / General
Religion / Biblical Studies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Bible is a truly wonderful book. Millions of Christians through the ages and across the world have treasured it as their most valued possession, often insisting that anyone can pick up the Bible and read and understand it for themselves. But many of the details remain fuzzy until we find out more about their historical or literary setting. The IVP Introduction to the Bible is intended to reduce the fuzziness, in two ways: First, by providing background information to the whole Bible and each testament, as well as the gap between the testaments. Second, by introducing all the main sections of the Bible and each biblical book in turn. So the great biblical panorama is brought to life, first with broad brush strokes and then with fine art work. This Bible introduction is written by an international and interdenominational team of evangelical scholars, among them Desmond Alexander, author of From Paradise to the Promised Land Tremper Longman III, author of How to Read the Psalms and How to Read Proverbs Howard Marshall, author of New Testament Theology Mark Strauss, author of Four Portraits, One Jesus All are involved in teaching biblical studies at a theological college, seminary or university, and each writing in their area of specialization. As they guide you expertly through the details, your understanding of the Bible and its message will be greatly enhanced. Readers of all stripes, from curious non-Christians to serious students of the Bible, will find The IVP Introduction to the Bible a helpful and enjoyable resource.
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