- 85,00 kr
What if God fell in love and the person was already married? A bitter story of the very first love triangle between a man, his wife, and their God
First came Adam, whose fall soured His quest for absolute authority, then Noah, whose dreary sense of duty He found dull. God resolves for a third and final time to get it right, to select a vessel through whom He can direct human affairs, and to whom He can communicate directly His will. He chooses a solitary figure whose trust must be wooed, but whose faith, once secured, will surely reflect even greater glory and love. Were matters only that simple. In Only Human, Jenny Diski's brilliant and affecting retelling of the Abraham and Sarah story, God learns that no man, chosen or not, is solitary, and that the bonds forged by the human heart are resilient even to divine commandment. Diski transforms an archetypal tale of Old Testament obedience into a fierce love triangle, a test of wills over not only mankind's future, but over who will tell the story of its past.
In this inventive retelling of the Abraham and Sarah story, Diski (Skating to Antarctica) offers up a vain, "testy" God, who has created humanity in the hope of gaining insight into Himself. Instead, He feels shut out by his creations which is a pity, since they might benefit from his attention. Abram and Sarai, half-siblings married by their dynasty-conscious father, have trouble playing the roles they are allotted. The whole family is prone to fruitless soul-searching and spend their time grappling with the idea of death, occasionally sacrificing a lamb or defacing an idol to pass the time. The tale is mostly buildup, set during the period before the all-important birth of Isaac, and indeed is primarily meditation: Sarai thinks about love, Abram worries about the continuation of his lineage and God, who narrates half the book, broods on the disobedient inventiveness of His creations. When major events do occur (fueled by dialogue direct from the Bible), they progress at breakneck speed, as though the characters were in a hurry to return to their dreary contemplation of the human state. While billed as a "divine comedy," the novel lacks the raised eyebrow that makes other approaches to biblical stories Kierkegaard's, for example so successful. There are humorous moments, as when God grouses about humans taking "my exhortation to be fruitful and multiply to their hearts. Rather, to their loins." And the novel gives Sarai much more airtime than the Bible does, offering a refreshing, feminine perspective. As God and Sarai battle for Abram's affection, readers will inevitably take her side; the affectionate though fallible human is, unsurprisingly, much more appealing than the distant, irritable deity.