Journal of Romance Studies

Saramago’s Gospel and the poetics of prototypical rewriting

Journal of Romance Studies (2003), 3, (3), 93–105.

Abstract

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.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Ben-Porat, Ziva (1976) ‘The poetics of literary allusion’, Poetics and Theory of Literature (PTL) 1.1, 105–28. The poetics of literary allusion Poetics and Theory of Literature (PTL) 1.1 105 28 Google Scholar

Crace, Jim (1998) [1997] Quarantine (London: Viking Penguin). Quarantine Google Scholar

Eco Umberto, with Richard Rorty, Jonathan Culler and Christine Brooke-Rose (1992) Interpretation and Overinterpretation, ed. Stefan Collini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Interpretation and Overinterpretation Google Scholar

Saramago, José (1991) O Evangelho segundo Jesus Cristo (Lisboa: CAMINHO o Campo da Palavra). O Evangelho segundo Jesus Cristo Google Scholar

Saramago, José (1993) The Gospel according to Jesus Christ, trans. Giovanni Pontiero (London: The Harvill Press). The Gospel according to Jesus Christ Google Scholar

The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Edition (1962) (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company). Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Ben-Porat, Ziva