Saturday, March 5, 2011

The First Dissident

"The First Dissident; The Book of Job in Today's Politics" is a breakaway book by William Safire. In it, Mr. Safire says, "I see Job's ancient challenge to the highest authority as a metaphor for the modern dissident's principled resistance to authoritarian rule... not a weary resignation to life's unfairness. Rather it is a sustained note of defiance."

Regarding the book of Job, Thomas Carlyle said, "There is nothing written, I think, in the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit." and Alfred Lord Tennyson called it "the greatest poem of ancient and modern times".

The unknown author of Job broke with the pious illusion of perfect divine retribution (i.e., you get what you deserve) and "came to grips with the mysterious disorder of real life."

About "The First Dissident", Safire says "I am abondoning the pretense of objective analysis of what the author meant and am joining in the editing and updating of the ancient book to fit my circumstances. That's what most students of Job do..." "...written on stretch papyrus, the book of Job can be fitted to the times..."

"Today's experts (Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar) are tomorrow's ignoramuses. Being in the minority does not mean being in the wrong. "Illigetim Non Carborundum" (don't let the bastards grind you down)

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