I was talking to my friend on the bus about stories we all know that would be dramatically altered by a blissfully ignorant reading of them. I was thinking along the lines of fairy tales but he suggested the Bible or just the New Testament. Can you imagine how you would feel about reading the New Testament knowing nothing about it? You would have to have grown up in a non-christian culture. I’m not remotely religious but thought this was interesting.
What would you think?
The language is strange, so you’d be thinking it’s either old or written to appear so. There are a interactions with God and miracles performed by a main character called Jesus. He has been sent by a God into a troubled land to raise the hopes to his people who are being oppressed (this is starting to sound a bit more like were on familiar ground here). He has charisma and strong beliefs and takes himself very seriously. There’s not a lot of humour or contrast in this story and I think I’d be considering stopping reading because you suspect that it’s going to end badly. I’d probably keep going because it appears that the main character could really change the world!
Now I’ve just drawn on my experience as a reader to make these assumptions. Did the New Testament set an archetype that many stories then follow i.e. we learn the pattern of one man on a mission, wants what’s right and gets taken down by the system he is fighting against. This has become part of our literary culture that we subconsciously use to guide us, giving us clues and helping us to look out for significant signs in stories, that deepen our understanding and enjoyment of books.
Anyway it ends badly for our hero, but there are seeds of hope and the promise of a sequel 🙂 ( I wonder when that’s coming out?)
In my post How To Not Pick a Book I pointed out you should take recommendations, I’m not sure anyone’s ever recommended the Bible to me. (Please don’t now).
We laughed on the bus. but now it’s made me think.