Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bringing the Law

Taking a breather now that draft six is done and diving into some good old, bare-knuckled research for my next writing project. I don't know for sure that it will be another novel, though to be honest I'd be surprised if it wasn't; the experience of working through the first has been grueling but so satisfying that I'm hooked. My subject for my next project will be the lawbringer himself, old man Moses.
In college I was profoundly influenced by my Russian professor. He cultivated love of literature and free thought, and inspired by example: his life and pursuits engaged with the world, exploring how to do things slightly askew from tradition. At one session he divulged to us that he had translated the book of Revelation. In crafting the text into contemporary form, he chose to color it as science fiction. This, he informed us gleefully, would excite the reader and show them the old story in a new light. How wonderfully strange, I thought as we read blurry photostats of his translation, and to this day I fondly recall his brazen approach to doing things in a non-traditional way.

Does this mean I'll paint a picture of Moses in TRON regalia? It's too soon to say, but I do find a basic appeal in updating the story of the lawbringer. What the world needs is not another hagiography of the man who came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments in his hands, nor is there a void of exodus adventures that wants filling. In these days of extraordinary rendition and daily sanctioned slaughter of innocents, we could use a reminder of what really matters. Science fiction has ever been a suitable vehicle for far-reaching and let's face it idealistic notions, and who reached further or more idealistically than Moses?

I'm also interested in Miriam. Growing up, there was rarely a mention of her, and though I knew a woman watched over her baby brother in the bulrush basket, it seemed to me it was a servant rather than a sibling. Might be this was a deficiency in my bible lessons, but as someone with a sister, this is a disservice that must be put right!


Ian Woolcott said...

For your research: St Gregory of Nyssa's 'Life of Moses.' I have a copy you can borrow if you like. It's not really a biography, but an Origenist interpretation of Mosaic symbology. Strangely compelling.

wngl said...

Sounds fantastic, Mr Woolcott! I would certainly appreciate the loan.

Greg said...

You have great ideas..will be interested in reading anything you come up with..