Dante, Homer and the Bible

Levi makes several references to other texts.  When writers shape their texts through reference to other texts, it is commonly referred to as intertextuality.

Consider chapter 11 of If this is a Man. Your task is to uncover some meaning behind this reference to another text. Here’s how:

1. Learn what the other text is. In this case you might need to uncover two texts.

2. Do some background reading. What is this text all about? Is the reference to the whole text or just one section or both? Wikipedia is a useful place to start but you should also use Webpath express on our school library.

3. Find the original text or passages and read them. It is not always necessary to have read the whole text but it is useful to be able to refer to the original text.

4. Read the original text again. Two or three times even!

5. Make connections. What is happening in the original text? What is happening in the referenced text? How does this shape or change our understanding? Use a two column planner here and try comparing sections or passages.

6. Draft a response that outlines the significance of the reference. Don’t forget to add a little context for each text – What is happening in the story at the time?

Image: ‘an exothermic reaction

References to the Bible and Greek Mythology

Consider Levi’s reference to the bible in these passages. Construct a personal response as to their inclusion in the text:

1. Serpent (106)

2. The tower of Babel (79)

3. Tantalus (68)

4. Oedipus and the Sphinx (111)

5. Challenge: Story of Exodus (reference?)

6. Challenge: Sisyphus myth (reference?)


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