Saramago's Gospel and the poetics of prototypical rewriting
Saramago's novel O Evangelho segundo Jesus Cristo is a paradigmatic example of successful prototypical rewriting: a retelling of a known story in such a way that the resulting text, the rewrite, is simultaneously an original composition and a recognizable rendition, involving a critical rereading of the source. Grounded in cognitive and pragmatic approaches to reading and interpretation, the article presents a detailed analysis of the relationship between the novel and the Gospels, focusing on Saramago's treatment of Mary Magdalene and of the ‘temptation in the desert’. Newspaper reviews and publishers' blurbs supply the empirical data for evaluating the success of Saramago's novel as a rewrite. The article ends with a brief comparison with Jim Crace's Quarantine, in order to illustrate the difference between a prototypical rewrite and a global allusion.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2003
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- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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