Wednesday reading experience #27

I forgot to post the Wednesday reading challenge on Wednesday, so here it is now:

If you come from a Western or Christian culture, read the Bible and consider how it has affected the literary heritage of your culture or country. If you belong to a non-Christian religion or culture, do the same with the primary book of your religion.

It is not necessary to be religious or even to be a believer to enjoy doing this, just to enjoy reading and thinking about literature and literary connections.

There are many, many different stories in the Bible, and most, if not all, have been reworked, twisted, inverted, used as inspiration, referred or alluded to in some form of literature.

Here is a list of some literature to check out that use biblical material or biblical themes:

Connie Willis: “Inn” and “Epiphany”, both in Miracle and other Christmas Stories
Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens
David Seltzer: The Omen
John Bunyan: The Pilgrim’s Progress
Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy
C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Latters
John Milton “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained”
Mark Twain: Letters from the Earth
O. Henry: “The Gift of the Magi”

I had a longer list, but now I can't find it. I'll post more when I do.

Comments

Gallimaufry said…
That's an interesting & thought-provoking post, Bib. In India, tonnes of literature has been inspired by our epics. Of the two great ones - Ramayan & Mahabharat - the latter finds more takers. This is so because the former is a straightforward tale of valour, honour & decency in public life. The Mahabharat, otoh, is a marvellous story full of men & women who're heroes & diabolical characters at the same time! It's a superb story with lots of twists & turns and every possible human folly you can think of!
My favourite books inspired by it are: 1) Yugaant by Irawati Karve (a feminist take on the epic)- Marathi; 2) Rashmi Rathi, an epyllion by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar - Hindi; 3) Mrityunjay, by Shivaji Sawant - Marathi.
Bibliophile said…
Some day I will go an read the full texts of both the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. I've read retellings and stories (or maybe I should call them episodes) from both and enjoyed it very much. There is so much material there than can be used to good effect in literature. I wonder if the books you mention have been translated into English?
Gallimaufry said…
I don't think, Bibliophile, that these books were translated into English. Found this on Google:
http://books.google.co.in/books?id=uJz4ZWsRcsAC&dq=Yuganta&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=gC9jSs_5FtaBkQXIs5X1Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

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