Introduction to a Dandy, Part I

The Assembler Reassembled

In: Biblical Interpretation
Benjamin Morse New York, NY, USA

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The first half of this introduction to Qoheleth reads the book as a record of ideas mulled over by a dandy at a series of salons. While scholars have attempted to impose order on the book’s structure and classify it according to genres, I formulate an understanding of the speaker’s lively wisdom from the extraneous voices of John Galsworthy, Beau Brummell and Oscar Wilde. Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (The Tailor Retailored) serves as a model of fictional philosophy that allows us to appreciate Qoheleth’s existential concerns as both ironic and serious. I keep references to biblical commentaries at bay and create a typology within which the biblical sage comes to life as a social creature of comfort. Part II will draw a specific parallel between the book’s first chapter and a collage by the conceptual dandy Marcel Duchamp. For the moment Qoheleth’s charms are given a fresh face via creative interdisciplinary comparison.

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