Two months and a week from now my written comps begin. I’m strangely calm about it; I’ve still got about eight or ten plays I want to read and a couple long poems, and I have some serious review after that, but I’ve actually got a finite body of text that I want to cover now. And, yes, there’s the two sets of freshman papers, double-graded portfolios, and what work remains on our Anglo-Saxon class. But compared to where I was psychologically two months ago, I’m positively tranquil.
When we return to class a week from today I start teaching J.B., one of my favorites to teach in this class. The more I think about the biblical Job (which I teach alongside the play), the more I think that what that text represents is something analogous to Greek tragedy, the conventions of Psalmic poetry worked up into formalized dialogue for the sake of interrogating certain pieties and exploring human complexity in the face of the gods (or God, in Job’s case). I don’t think for a moment that one directly influenced the other, but I can certainly see the formal conditions for both rising out of their respective poetic/ritual/philosophical contexts.