This one’s probably for serious New Testament studies and postmodernism geeks only, but I couldn’t let NT Wright’s “Taking the Text with Her Pleasure” slip by without mention (okay, so it was originally published in 1996, but I’ve only just found it online).
While reserving judgement on its critique of John Dominic Crossan’s “The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant”, I couldn’t help but fall for passages like:
Michelle turned her attention to her implied readers. There were lots of them, she thought with pride. The New York Times review had done its work well. But who were they? The natural assumption might have been that a book with a postmodernist implied author would have a postmodernist implied reader. So, indeed, it seemed. ‘In the end, as in the beginning, now as then, there is only the performance.’ ‘These words are not a list to be read … they are a score to be played and a programme to be enacted.’ Did this not send a signal to all implied readers that, if they weren’t already postmodernists, they had better become such at once? Michelle sighed with content. It is a comforting thing for a book to feel integrated, to have implied author and implied reader shaking hands with each other across the intertextual void.
I suppose that’s important; but, strictly speaking, modernists have holes, and positivists have nests, but the Son of Postmodernism ought to have nowhere to lay his head.