The Silences of Job
Evolution of Satan
First Lesson --Intro
Fifth--To the End
Putting it Together
Putting it Together II
SONG of SOLOMON
The Lovers--ch. 5
Lovers VI--ch. 8
Putting it All Together
Bill Long 10/2/06
Answering some "Basic" Questions about Job
One of the joys of putting together this Web site is that occasionally people write to me with perceptive questions or comments about subjects close to both of our hearts. Last month a Grek playwright wrote me and posed several perceptive questions about Job that stymied her. This essay gives excerpts from her email to me about her questions on Job. The next essay provides my answers. You can tell her passionate way of writing from the way she frames the questions.
Questions Posed to Me
"Hello Dr Long.
Your site is amazing! [My comment: Thanks for the kudos!] I can't begin to imagine the blessing of your wisdom, clarity and variety of thought. Maybe you have ancestors in the Renaissance? [My comment: For years I tried to live according to the way that academics are taught to live--by only concerning myself with a rather technical area of expertise in one document or area of study. This proved to be impossible for me to do, and I began to write my essays, first on Shakespeare, then on Words, then on Job, because I wanted to flex all the intellectual muscles that I had been training over time.]
I am a Greek screenwriter and have dedicated the last three years to the Book of Job. Before, there was a rather impressive professional success (in my country) followed by several proposals, which I ignored, in the shameful hope that I would adapt Job first, maybe in a year or two, then go on with the rest. Well, here I am, proudowner of tens of books, a mountain of notes, a growing obsession, but no finished work. Please, would you guide me in (even one of) my most torturing questions? [My comment: Surely I will try. I think the essence of life is conversation, where people of broad experience and insight come together to share and learn from each other. I don't know if this will stop wars from taking place, but it certainly holds promise for human understanding.]
The Actual Questions
This adaptation has Job living today, our post-modern age:- What is his main crime, so horrible to the eyes of his friends, and to all of society, but right to his eyes, so that he insists so passionately in his innocence?- What do the friends ask him to actually do, or not do, saying 'repent', 'trust', 'admit'? - There's a stubbornness in Job and wish for revenge together with absolute virtue, but how can the solution, the divine appearance, come from his action or non-action?
Is it enough drama to keep expressing his agony and rage to a God that he adores, but who cruelly ignores him?
- What is his earthy goal? Basically, what moral choice does he have to face, apart from symbolically cursing or accepting God? Surely, one must find the analogy from the theoretical to the practical and concrete, if things are to be made comprehensible, let alone interesting, to a younger audience."
Well, how would you respond to these heartfelt and insightful questions? How would you say the Book of Job continues to speak, if indeed it does, to our modern world?
The next essay gives my response to her.
Copyright © 2004-2009 William R. Long