Socrates and the Fat Rabbis by Daniel Boyarin

By Daniel Boyarin

What sort of literature is the Talmud? to respond to this question, Daniel Boyarin appears to be like to an not going resource: the dialogues of Plato. In those old texts he reveals similarities, either of their detailed blend of varied genres and subject matters and of their dialogic constitution. yet Boyarin is going past the typological parallelism among the texts, arguing additionally for a cultural relationship.In Socrates and the fats Rabbis, Boyarin means that those dialogues should not dialogic in any respect. utilizing Michael Bakhtin’s proposal of represented discussion and genuine dialogism, Boyarin demonstrates, via a number of shut readings, that the give-and-take in those texts is admittedly monologic in spirit. whilst, he indicates that there are different parts that happen actual dialogicality. Boyarin eventually singles out Menippean satire because the most vital style with which to appreciate either the Talmud and Plato, declaring their seriocomic peculiarity.An leading edge contribution to rabbinic reviews, Socrates and the fats Rabbis makes an incredible contribution to scholarship at the discursive and cultural practices of the traditional Mediterranean.

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Studies which nevertheless engage questions of structure and composition do so mainly in the context of “higher” (source) criticism, attempting to distinguish between different layers in the Babylonian Talmud (for example, Shamma Friedman and his students),32 thus allowing for historical reconstructions 31. Barry Wimpfheimer, Telling Tales Out of Court: Literary Ambivalence in Talmudic Legal Narratives, Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religions (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

36 Chapter Two philosophia, the displacement, that is, of valid sides of a debate with absolute truth and falsity. Andrea Nightingale has been a central figure in studying Plato’s academic politics: “In order to create the specialized discipline of philosophy, Plato had to distinguish what he was doing from all other discursive practices that laid claim to wisdom. It is for this reason that, in dialogue after dialogue, Plato deliberately set out to define and defend a new and quite peculiar mode of living and of thinking.

They are rather examples of he¯ dialektike¯ tekhne¯, which Bakhtin has realized is a far cry from dialogue: “Dialogue and Art in Rhetorical Theory in Classical Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 4. ” “Confound Laughter with Seriousness” 35 dialectics. Take a dialogue and remove the voices . . remove the intonations . . ” 5 To put it in Schiappa’s terms, if Plato’s to dialegesthai is “competitive rule-governed Dialogue,” it is, I warrant, entirely nondialogical, even antidialogical.

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