Repository | Book | Chapter


(2018) Saramago's philosophical heritage, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

A contemporary midrash

Saramago's re-telling of the "sacrifice of isaac"

Federico Dal Bo

pp. 121-142

The chapter addresses Saramago's re-telling of the Biblical "Sacrifice of Isaac" in his 2009 novel Cain on account of both its narratological and philosophical implications. Consequently, the theological-metaphysical Biblical events shall not be conceived as the progressive fulfillment of divine premises but rather the convulsed history of humans, who are struggling with and against a "lower-case God"—irrational and unpredictable. I show how Saramago has filled some narratological blanks the Biblical "Sacrifice of Isaac" suffers from, comparing his text with another one: the Jewish midrash of this very Biblical passage. I maintain that Saramago intends to tell the story of the "Sacrifice of Isaac" from the perspective neither of the perpetrators (God and Abraham) nor of the victim (Isaac)—rather from the perspective of humanity.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-91923-2_7

Full citation:

Dal Bo, F. (2018)., A contemporary midrash: Saramago's re-telling of the "sacrifice of isaac", in C. Salzani & K. K. P. . Vanhoutte (eds.), Saramago's philosophical heritage, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 121-142.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.