Maurice J. O Sullivan The Books of Job

ISBN 13: 9781847181206

The Books of Job

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For over a thousand years translators have attempted to find the perfect English voice for The Book of Job. That challenge has attracted a broad spectrum of men and women, ranging from a member of parliament to a beggar, from a Kentish wool merchant to the Earl of Winchilsea, from the first woman to translate a book of the Bible to the Metropolitan of Canada, from a chronologer of the City of London to the secretary for the American Continental Congress, and from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia to a British office r of the Raj. In accessible, lively prose, The Books of Job begins by exploring the ways these men and women have used their translations of Job for everything from royalist apologetics to revolutionary polemics, from orthodox endorsements of traditional beliefs to highly heterodox speculations, and from feminist theories to idiosyncratic metrical experiments. While celebrating the conversation that these translators have with each other and their original sources, the first section places their work in particular moments of political, literary, and theological history. The second section offers a composite translation from fifty of these versions to provide as wide a variety of voices and styles as possible. The very breadth and creativity of these remarkable translations show how eclectic, compelling, and paradoxical the colloquy on Job has been. In the last section, a bibliography of translations through 1900, each author s interpretation of one unremarkable but ambiguous verse offers a basis for tracing the English Job from Aelfric, Coverdale, and the Geneva Bible to Elizabeth Smith, Rabbi Isaac Leeser, and Noah Webster.

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About the Author:

Maurice O Sullivan, Kenneth Curry Professor of Literature at Rollins College, has written, edited, and co-edited books on Shakespeare, popular culture, and Florida Studies. He has served as Chair of the English Department and Humanities Division at Rollins and is currently Co-Director of the Institute for Shakespeare Studies and President of the College English Association.

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