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Title: Exile and chosenness in the old English Exodus
Authors: St John, Joseph
Keywords: Displacement (Psychology) in literature
Exodus, The, in literature
English poetry -- 10th century
Spirituality in literature
Issue Date: 2018-02
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of English
Citation: St John, J. (2018). Exile and chosenness in the old English Exodus. Antae Journal, 5(1), 46-61.
Abstract: The narrative poem Exodus came down to us in a single copy, preserved in the manuscript known as Junius 11, which is dated to the 10th century. The poem, like the other poetic compositions preserved in the same manuscript, is a biblical adaptation. However, the Anglo-Saxon poem does not simply relate the relevant episodes in Old English, as it employs nautical and military imagery that is alien to the original. The structure of the poem, as well as its peculiar imagery, effectively entails interpretation of Scripture, as the message of the biblical book is contextualised, both with reference to other biblical episodes as well as through Anglo-Saxon poetic imagery and narrative technique. The biblical Book of Exodus, a narrative of exile and journey, embodies the concepts of displacement and placement. Moreover, the crossing of the Red Sea—which dominates the poem’s main narrative—constitutes the space between the two, a movement from one state of affairs to the other. The concepts of displacement and placement within the poem, even though influenced by the original, take several forms, some arising out of biblical exegesis and others out of the history of the Anglo-Saxons themselves.
Appears in Collections:Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1
Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1

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