History is a story. A man, a woman is a narrative. With each moment of our beings, we sift through the scattered array of images and experiences woven through our discourse to create the illusion of a coherent, cohesive self. And, despite our attachment to this image, reality remains fluid. We dart between the terms assigned to them, dancing from signifier to the signified, constructing our beings along the lines and traces of countless stories. We are then in constant motion, weaving multiple paths through the clutter of the human experience to constantly re-create and re-imagine the nature of our reality. Being is a process; meaning is a construction, created in dialogue between a reader and a writer across the man-imagined boundaries of time and space.
[...] She remembers his words and the way in which he inspired those around him: “People talk now of the love that used to flow from him, but I never felt anything like that. He would look at you as if you were a stone or a block of wood. No, the love was what came out of other people” (Park 43). Despite these observations, for Mary, Jesus remains a mystery. He does not fit within any paradigm known to her. [...]
[...] The multiple perspectives of his mother, father, uncles, brothers and even strangers, present Christ with numerous narratives rooted in the gospels though which he attempts to define him self. His own story then is drawn through his relationship with these stories, but because their meaning is not fixed, their truths can't be confined within man-made categories and titles. He cries: “father in Heaven, tell me, what you want of me, Tell me what these things mean? Everything has a story to it. [...]
[...] The story of Christ, rather than being narrowed to a definable point, is able to become an expression of the diversity of the human experience and the possibilities of the imagination. A man, a woman is a narrative, weaving the fragments of our beings through the man-made categories of time and space. Through a process of perception and interpretation we create a sense of our selves within the reality these narratives imagine. A writer writes the hard black lines which we, as readers then assemble in our minds. [...]
[...] The following two books written by Parks and Crace provide us with two radically different interpretations of the story of Christ. Each are written in conversation with the gospels, drawing through these dialogues a unique perspective as to the character of Christ as told through the relationships he forged with those around him. Three Marys is written from the perspectives of four women: Mary of Magdala, Mary of Bethany, Miriam, and Martha. Each retells the story of Christ, creating his character through their memories while they create their own identities in relation to these stories. [...]
[...] Each of these literary works then attempts to engage its readers in a this creative process, forcing us to move beyond conventional interpretations of being to imagine and then create a new perspective on the self and the story that this self expresses moment to moment, word to word. In both Rice's Out of Egypt and Mailer's The Gospel According to the Son the character of Jesus is created in direct relation to the images outlined in the Christian biblical tradition. [...]
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