SPARK 2021 – Prof. Robert Alter: Repetition in Torah
Tauber SPARK 2021
Reading Repetition in the Torah
Taught by Professor Robert Alter of UC Berkeley
Many readers are likely to be puzzled by the fact that the biblical stories, famous for being laconic, abound in repetitions. On consideration, the repetitions turn out to be artful and deliberate, complicating and enriching the narrative. My first lecture will examine how the repetition of words, phrases, whole sentences is used in Genesis. The second talk will focus on how what looks like the same story is told more than once with different characters. The examples in this case will begin with Genesis and move beyond it as well.
Robert Alter is Professor in the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-six published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses.
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