Focalization in the Old Testament Narratives with Specific Examples from the Book of Ruth
Since Gérard Genette first coined the term in 1972, focalization has been recognized as one ofthe key concepts in contemporary understandings of narrative. However, in the field of biblical studies, the concept has been largely overlooked. Dr. Konstantin Nazarov seeks to rectify this oversight, exploring the implications of focalization on Old Testament narratology. Utilizing the work of Wolf Schmid and Valeri Tjupa to develop his methodology – and examining the book of Ruth as a case study – Nazarov demonstrates the value of focalization in furthering the appreciation and understanding of biblical texts.
This is an excellent resource for students of narratology, biblical studies scholars, or anyone seeking to better understand the narratives of Scripture.
The literary turn in interpreting Old Testament narratives has brought great insight. Yet, important methodological gaps remain. In this enlightening study, Konstantin Nazarov shows the importance of focalization, demonstrating its value in his reading of Ruth and filling a methodological gap. This important study deserves to be widely read and studied.
David G. Firth, PhD
Old Testament Tutor and Academic Dean,
Trinity College Bristol, UK
This work can indeed be considered as innovative. The author sets himself a rather difficult task: to expand the boundaries of the application of narratological theory and to consider the concept of focalization, which is traditionally used to study contemporary fictional texts in relation to the Old Testament narratives. He also further studies the very idea of focalization, laying a theoretical foundation for this heuristic concept. To do so, he first gives a broader definition of the concept of focalization. Then, based on the latest developments in narratology, he creates a methodology that allows applying the concept of focalization to any texts, including the Old Testament narratives. Worth noting is the author’s desire to show the applicability of his model on a fairly large corpus of narratological material. Thus, the book will be useful both for those who engage in research in general narratology and those who wish to expand their horizons in the field of research of biblical narratives. The work will undoubtedly contribute to the development of dialogue between these disciplines and will affect further research on this topic.
Wolf Schmid, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Slavic Literary Studies,
University of Hamburg, Germany
Table of Contents
- The Purpose of the Research
- Why Focalization?
- The Review of the Present Research
- The Book of Ruth
- Expected Contributions