Tuesday, November 24, 2009

R. Crumb's "The Book Of Genesis"

I saw this mentioned somewhere one day and immediately ordered it at Amazon. They said there it wouldn't be shipped for maybe two months. But then I got a note that it would be available earlier. So it came yesterday.

It's R. Crumb's "The Book of Genesis," a beautiful big book of cartoon illustrations of all 50 chapters of the first book of the Bible.

I have to say I love it. This is the way the Bible needs to be illustrated, with all the grittiness of real life right there before you. I think reading through it slowly is a devotional experience and I say that truly.

Maybe the most famous thing about the book, which has to be mentioned, is that the sex stuff of Genesis is illustrated. And even then it's not so much in your face, but just shows what the text says. It's before you but even then it's still nicely reserved. Anyway, to see Adam and Eve, Abraham, Lot, etc., in the buff is a good thing, illustrating these holy stories in a great way.

I think Crumb did a masterful job and was very reverent about the whole thing. I'd love to see what he could do with Ezekiel, but that one might be not quite as popular. I'm sure he could do some stunning esoteric things with it though!

I read through the story of Judah and Tamar last night. How beautiful it is. Tamar pretended to be a cult harlot in order to raise up seed for her dead husband. She wasn't just horny and wanting to get it on with Judah. It's great to see her resolve illustrated there and the way she takes Judah's things which she later uses to identify him as the person she had sex with. She's about to be killed for having played the whore, but suddenly it's obvious to Judah what she had done and how honorable she was.

Today I started at the beginning and read about the Creation. I love seeing God as this radiant, beard-flowing wild-eyed mystic deity. When He's searching for Adam in the garden, it's very powerful. "WHERE ARE YOU?"

I looked at other things too and got the same impression. It's stunning and a great book.

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