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From the PREFACE.
THE object of this Introduction is to provide a short account not only of the books in the Church Apocrypha, but of the other Jewish writings from 200 B.C. to A.D. 100, which should be now occupying the attention of those interested in the New Testament. For without some knowledge of the contemporary literature of the period, we lose the chief key to the understanding of the world to which Christ came, and the atmosphere in which the Church was born.
It is obvious that in so short a compass as this volume allows, it is only possible to give an impression of each book, and that statements have constantly to be made dogmatically which would need considerable discussion in a larger work. The writer has done his best to present the sanest views of the best scholars, and can claim that nothing has been put down that has not the support of competent scholars of the present time. And he hopes that this "conspectus" or "bird's-eye view" of a great field of knowledge and research will give a trustworthy impression of the general trend of literary activity during the period. Such an impression cannot fail to be of use in the appreciation of the New Testament; and therefore, wherever necessary, attention has been drawn to any instances of a direct connection between these writers and those of the canonical books or to any actual quotation. He chiefly hopes that readers will be led to read the uncanonical writers for themselves, and the great modern books on the period, and making their own comparisons and conclusions, may thus secure new and abiding light on the Gospel and the Church. He has to acknowledge with deep thankfulness the help afforded by Dr. Charles's great edition of those books, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, the articles in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible and the Encyclopedia Biblica, and Dr. W. O. E. Oesterley's The Books of the Apocrypha, without which this Introduction would have been impossible.
The central theme of the study is Christ as the sacrament of reconciliation of the human being with God. In light of this premise, the study is divided into two main parts.
Samuel Beckett is unique in literature. Born and educated in Ireland, he lived most of his life in Paris. His literary output was rendered in either English or French, and he often translated one to the other, but there is disagreement about the contents of his bilingual corpus. "A Beckett Canon" by renowned theater scholar Ruby Cohn offers an invaluable guide to the entire corpus, commenting on Beckett's work in its original language.
Beginning in 1929 with Beckett's earliest work, the book examines the variety of genres in which he worked: poems, short stories, novels, plays, radio pieces, teleplays, reviews, and criticism. Cohn grapples with the difficulties in Beckett's work, including the opaque erudition of the early English verse and fiction, and the searching depths and syntactical ellipsis of the late works.
Specialist and nonspecialist readers will find "A Beckett Canon" valuable for its remarkable inclusiveness. Cohn has examined the holdings of all of the major Beckett depositories, and is thus able to highlight neglected manuscripts and correct occasional errors in their listings. Intended as a resource to accompany the reading of Beckett's writing--in English or French, published or unpublished, in part or as a whole--the book offers context, information, and interpretation of the work of one of the last century's most important writers.
Ruby Cohn is Professor Emerita of Comparative Drama, University of California, Davis. She is author or editor of many books, including "Anglo-American Interplay in Recent Drama; Retreats from Realism in Recent English Drama; From "Desire "to "Godot"; "and" Just Play: Beckett's Theater."
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