By Yair Hoffman
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Extra resources for A Blemished Perfection: Book of Job in Context
3. The Book of Job and Aristotle's Poetics Another possible option for classifying and evaluating a literary work is to examine it on the basis of the theoretical criteria which were established for a related genre. This method may only be implemented in the case of those works within whose cultural milieu theoretical works pertinent to them or to similar works were also written. But what theoretical work exists upon whose basis one may examine the book of Job and its genre status? Clearly, no such works on literature were composed in ancient Israel.
24 This known aesthetic rule25 requires us to examine the aesthetic norms presented by the book of Job itself, according to which it ought to be judged. 'To be judged' in both senses: both aesthetic judgment (which is essentially a particular level in the understanding of the work),26 and critical judgment, regarding the relation of the present version to the original version. Proposals for correction of the text are certainly not meant to be based upon alien criteria, for then one arrives at absurd conclusions, such as those arrived at by Kallen, as shown above.
In practice, says Lowth, the very subject of the book eliminates any possibility of dramatic development. 22. Albeit the appearance of God does not constitute interference on the part of a factor taken from outside the plot, because throughout the length of his speech Job calls upon God to appear. 2. 23 This being so, by what aesthetic criteria ought one to examine the book of Job, if not by those of tragedy? 24 This known aesthetic rule25 requires us to examine the aesthetic norms presented by the book of Job itself, according to which it ought to be judged.