Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Ricoeur and Configuration
Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity,
Tom Thatcher ed., SBL, 2014, page 44
Carol Newsom next invokes the work of Paul Ricoeur to describe an effect he calls 'configuration'. By extracting some details and omitting others, it is possible to build a new plot relating episodes as elements of a journey, or repeated historical instantiations of a theme. Configuration may be ...
the bending of time, so that in place of a sense that things could go on for ever, "the plot imposes the 'sense of ending' ... on the indefinite succession of incidents."
By selective inclusion, Newsom suggests that:
When the story is a well-known one, emplotment permits one to invert the natural order of time, s that one can "read the ending in the beginning and the beginning in the ending."