Midrash? Or blasphemy? Or… BRAAAAIINS!

Crossposted to Jewschool.

Google Reader has delivered two new *ahem* midrashic projects into my life this week. On the less blaspehmous end, there is This American Life contributor Jonathan Goldstein’s new short story volume, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! and on the more blasphemous end, there is The Zombie Bible.

I’ll begin with Ladies and Gentlemen. This new book, which I’m now really eager to read, came to my attention via this week’s Nextbook podcast. In the podcast, it is revealed that Goldstein has filled this book with short stories that play with the notion of funny and poignant, three-dimensional versions of biblical characters. For instance, Adam becomes, in this telling, a sort of childish doofus, spending whole days rubbing his face in the grass. Though there is no retelling of the Binding of Isaac in this collection, its memory haunts the old shell of a man that Goldstein presents Jacob and Esau’s father as. Sounds really cool and I’m really excited to read it.

On to the blasphemy. The Zombie Bible is an online wiki project, so it’s open source for those not afraid of lightning bolts to play with and add to. Rather than explaining about this project, I’ll just give you the first five verses of Genesis, according to The Zombie Bible.

1:1 In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth and the Zombies sprang forth from the roiling foam of creation, barking in uncontrollable rage, hungry for human flesh to eat and pestork, giving pause to our Lord who shat himself and uttered ‘Oh, f[EDIT]ck’ amidst the primordial celestial gloom.

1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God was, like, what am I going to do with all these Zombies, they chew up my shoes and make a mess of the place generally.

So the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And the Zombies went shithouse, screeching like their eyes were being burned out, turning away and howling in seething rage. And said the LORD unto the shambling dead, what is with you guys, there’s no pleasing you, is there?

1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good for his hydrangeas : and God divided the light from the darkness.

1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day, so he had a coctail.

God goes on to celebrate the second day with absinthe. Enjoy

4 Responses to Midrash? Or blasphemy? Or… BRAAAAIINS!

  1. Larry Kaufman April 15, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    Blasphemy is not really an operative concept in my life, although I do tend to recoil at poor taste. But the trouble with the zombie thing is neither — it;s just plain boring, and not worth wasting any time on. I’ll read the crud that my betes noirs post on the rj blog, for example, even if I don’t respond to it — but this isn’t funny enough or even annoying enough to pay attention, based to the excerpts you posted.

    On the other hand, although I don’t usually like short stories, I’ll look for the Goldstein book and give it a try.

    • nojo April 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      If you find the zombie thing boring, you’re invited to log into the Stinque Zombie Bible and tart it up. It’s only as good as its editors.

  2. David A.M. Wilensky April 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    True fact, nojo, but knowing Larry, I don’t see him logging into The Zombie Bible to edit. Perhaps, Larry, it’s generational humor. I thought it was hilarious.


  1. Midrash? Or blasphemy? Or… BRAAAAIINS! | Jewschool - April 14, 2009

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