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Lectures focus on the Bible and American fiction

Tuesday through Thursday, April 8-10, 2008, 8 p.m. McCosh 50
"The Bible and American Fiction: Melville, Faulkner and Bellow" is the subject of a series of three lectures by biblical and comparative literature scholar Robert Alter set for 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, April 8-10, in McCosh 50.

Alter will explore how the literary richness of the Old Testament served as a source for a distinctively American style of fiction, focusing on Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick," William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" and Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day."

Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California-Berkeley. He is the author of several English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, including "The Five Books of Moses" and "The Book of Psalms." Both volumes exemplify Alter's key ideas about biblical narrative, analyzing the original text in terms of literary techniques.

In addition to translation, Alter's works include "The Art of Biblical Narrative," "The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age" and "Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture."

The talks, which are designated as Spencer Trask Lectures, are sponsored by the University Public Lectures Series and Princeton University Press.

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