In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 292 Reviews A PROPHET READS SCRIPTURE: ALLUSION IN ISAIAH 40-66. By B. D. Sommer. Contraversions. pp. xiii + 355. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998. Cloth, $49.50. That Deutero-Isaiah (defmed broadly in this instance as comprising Isaiah 40-66 as well as Isaiah 35) is one of the most allusive of ancient Ismelite compositions is the fundamental thesis of this revised dissertation written at the University of Chicago under the direction of Michael Fishbane. Sommer's book proffers numerous examples of allusion in Deutero-Isaiah, describes the thematic and stylistic patterns that emerge from them, and concludes with a consideration of the significance of the bent toward allusion in relation to prophecy in the exilic and postexilic period. The argument for single authorship of Isaiah 40-66 and 35 is relegated to an appendix and is not central to Sommer's study of allusion in these chapters or to his conclusions. The introductory chapter (chapter 1) provides a useful discussion of pertinent literary categories. Sommer begins by distinguishing "allusion," an authorial reference to a text or texts, from "intertextuality," the participation of texts in broad linguistic and cultural contexts. He also breaks down the phmse "inner biblical exegesis" by separating "allusion," the use by an author of an earlier text to enrich his own articulation, from "exegesis," the attempt of a writer to explain an earlier text. Allusion, rather than intertextuality, is the focus of Sommer's study, and allusion, rather than exegesis, he argues, is the prevalent mode of textual reference in Deutero-Isaiah. The bulk of Deutero-Isaiah's allusions, Sommer claims, are to prophetic writings: to Jeremiah above all (a datum, he suggests, with implications for current scholarly interest in the integrity of the Isaian corpus); to Isaiah 1-39, and, occasionally, to the minor prophets. Chapters 2-3 describe five thematic types and four stylistic fonns of the prophetic allusions in Deutero-Isaiah. The thematic types include "reversal," in which a future restoration is portrayed in language that reverses earlier judgment oracles; "reprediction," in which the prophet recontextualizes former prophecies of restoration (or, less frequently, of judgment); "fulfIllment," in which allusions convey how earlier prophecies have been realized in the present; "typology ," in which figures and events featured in Deutero-Isaiah are presented as counterparts of those in an earlier text; and "echo," in which literary parallels simply connect Deutero-Isaiah to prophetic predecessors. In the discussion of these categories Sommer frequently demonstrates con- Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 293 Reviews vincingly how allusions are wielded in Deutero-Isaiah to intensify the force of its message. tI!msforming earlier texts into a different key while retaining their former resonance. Most characteristic of the four stylistic patterns in Deutero-Isaianic allusions . according to Sommer. and most significant for identifying allusions. is the "split up pattern" (pp. 68-69). This technique entails the expansion of a given phrase of Jeremiah. for example. by separating its elements and inserting words. phrases. and often several poetic lines in between. Sommer points to this technique as a deliberate playing with the language of a source that is indicative of allusion. as opposed to a coincidental parallel in language. He cites sound play and word playas similarly characteristic of Deutero-Isaiah and similarly a sign of conscious reworking of a particular text. Less frequent is the replication of shared vocabulary in the same order as in an earlier text. Sommer musters these stylistic traits as evidence of literary allusion in Deutero-Isaiah, but the question of how firm this evidence is, which he himself raises (pp. 32-35), should probably be underscored, at least with regard to the first three features. That these techniques are characteristic of Deutero-Isaiah need not imply that they are "a flag that points to the presence of an allusion or echo" with respect to a specific text (p. 71) rather than to a traditional phrase or word cluster. Perhaps the strongest argument for textual dependence is the presence of a notable cluster of words and phrases in a Deutero-Isaianic passage that is found in only one other text. Sommer suggests this when he links the likelihood of allusion to the...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 292-294
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.