International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur
Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.100
All Bad. The Biblical Flood Revisited in Modern Fiction
Citation Information: Arcadia – International Journal for Literary Studies. Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 84–97, ISSN (Online) 1613-0642, ISSN (Print) 0003-7982, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ARCA.2007.006, August 2007
- Published Online:
Modern retellings of the Flood pericope (Genesis 6–8) depend on the age of the targeted audience. Writing for adults, Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Brigitte Schär, Timothy Findley, and Anne Provoost ask whether universal annihilation can be justified. Their criticism of the divine notion that evil is universal and indiscriminate collective punishment is therefore justified, reveal values that are incompatible with those informing the original biblical narrative. However much modernity is aware that myths are symbolic, it apparently cannot assimilate their ethics without a critical reassessment. In this, modern writers rely on the realistic premises of modern novelistic narration. In contrast, modern retellings of the Flood story for children appear to be far more prepared to accept the ancient value system underlying the biblical narrative. Books for younger audiences seem to be much more comfortable with the notion of generalized evil and global punishment than works for adults. This becomes particularly striking in a number of picture books about Noah's ark. The narrative stance of writers ultimately depends on the way they perceive adulthood and childhood.
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