An email to a friend:
Howdy! Hope all is well! I’m sorry I haven’t seen you… I’ve been STRICTLY adhering to my overnight schedule even during a week when we don’t have groups, like this one. It just makes it so much easier. The downside is, I get up between noon and 2 and it’s too late to catch you, darn it. But I can usually make it to PK Coffee by 2:30, which is where I am right now. It’s PACKED.
Subject line = not “Job” as in work, but “Job” as in “the book of the bible.” I’ve been delving into it recently: over the fall, I discovered a Neville Goddard lecture called JOB: YOUR BIOGRAPHY which really hit home and has become my favorite, and that spurred me to delve into it and read it, which blew me away so much that I bought a used copy of this EXHAUSTIVE study bible called THE INTERPRETER’S BIBLE, which is absolutely thick with commentary and expository/explanatory material. (See the photo of a typical page.)
I think that right now, if I was teaching a writing class, I would do a unit on the Book of Job. By all accounts, it’s one of the great pieces of literature ever written, first of all. (Having not read all of them, and being someone who considers many episodes of STAR TREK to be “great literature,” I feel ill-suited to comment on that assertion.) Second of all, it has been parsed and misinterpreted and mistranslated and misunderstood almost since the day it was set to paper, so that would be fodder for research and discussion. (example: Neville talks about how “the patience of Job” is a complete misrepresentation of the work, “because Job was the most IMPATIENT person on the planet.”) Third, its provenance and history as a manuscript (two manuscripts, apparently written by two or more different authors: the prose prologue and epilogue, and the middle verse “dialogue”) is fascinating. Fourth, the use of language and symbols, and how so much in the manuscript is deliberate in ways that aren’t immediately evident on the surface. Numbers, for instance: all numbers in scripture had significance of some kind, so when, for instance, we’re told that something numbers seven, it may have a surface meaning, but the deeper spiritual meaning was one of “completion.”
Those just for starters. Just delving into this work on my own has shown me how woefully inadequate a lot of my education has been. Or maybe not… if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I wouldn’t KNOW TO look at this work in the way that I am.
It’s stoking me in a lot of ways, but mainly, unexpectedly, as a writer, and that’s why I’d present it to writers. Right now I’m trying to figure out what direction I’m going to take with a lot of disparate works that are in embryonic stages. I can see at least three books coming out of a nebulous mass of very rough drafts and ideas that I’ve been toying with, and with one of them, anyway, JOB has given me the idea that I should try to write the book in blank verse, and be very deliberate, dreamlike, mystical, with the structure of the book. Without, you know, being full of shit.
All this is what I’d toss at you if I saw you in person, but since I’m sitting here at the cafe, I’m typing it.
Hope to see you and catch up soon! 🙂 m