Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From Adam & Eve to Cain & Abel

In line with an ongoing project, I finally put together a working though obviously non-comprehensive bibliography on unusual treatments of the Eden and Cain/Abel myths, actually two bibliographies, one in English and one in Esperanto (consisting of original and translated works in the respective languages), which do not completely overlap, as there is much that is found in only one of these languages:
Suggestions for additions are welcome.

Not everything gets translated, for example, Johannes Linnankoski's play in Finnish, Ikuinen taistelu (1903, ‘The eternal struggle’). See:

Johannes Linnankoski (Pseudonym of Johannes Vihtori Peltonen, 1869-1913): Literature in English & Esperanto

Ever since reading Byron's Cain in 1979, in conjunction with Blake's The Ghost of Abel, I have been interested in the reversal of the orthodox meanings of myths canonized in sacred texts. One sees an autonomous reconfiguration of myth in British Romanticism, in Blake, Byron, and Shelley. I have recently returned to this subject in engagement with literary uses and unorthodox interpretations of the Edenic and Cain/Abel myths, for example, with Imre Madách's classic verse drama The Tragedy of Man and with Erich Fromm's psychoanalytic and humanist interpretation of the Old Testament. I am interested in how far the meanings of these mythical constructs can be stretched in literary interpretations before their deployment bumps up again insuperable limitations. I am also interested in the fundamental flaws and intellectual duplicity of liberal religion. (See my previous post on Erich Fromm.)

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