Retelling Noah and the Flood: A Fictional Encounter with Genesis 6-9

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Abstract


This article explores the retellings of and interactions with the biblical account of Noah and the flood (Gen 6–9) in modern literature. The four novels under scrutiny range from children’s literature, via young adult fiction, to mainstream fiction. They also represent diverse traditions and perspectives: from markedly Jewish or Christian perspectives to more secular viewpoints. The article investigates how these novels fill in narrative gaps and provide the key dramatis personae with personality, background, and motivation for their actions. It also looks at how the novels respond to theological problems that the biblical account raises. Why did God decide to send the flood? Why were Noah and his family spared from the destruction? Did Noah preach repentance/intercede while building the ark? Finally, it notes how several of the novels engage with extra-biblical texts (e.g., the Gilgamesh Epic, the book of Enoch) in order to produce a coherent and involving plot.

Keywords


Flood Narratave; Noah; Fiction; Religion; Reception History

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/rsrr6-2-706