The Performative Reading of the Hodayot: The Arousal of Emotions and the Exegetical Generation of Texts
This article examines two anonymous Hodayot (1QH 11.6-19 and 13.22—15.8) from the perspective of performance theory (method acting), post-structuralist understandings of subjectivity, and recent studies on the emotions. It is here proposed that when a reader was expected to read performatively, he—the readerly audience is likely to have been predominantly male—was not only expected to imitate the behaviors that are described in the text, but to re-enact the specific emotions that are aroused by it. In this way the reader could hope to form the appropriate subjectivity that is a necessary precondition for religious experience. In the case of the Qumran hodayot, the reading of 1QH 11.6-19 led to the exegetical generation of 1QH 13.22—15.8. If a text is rightly performed, the appropriate emotional signs will be exhibited in the reader and observed by the community (blushing, tears, perspiration, etc.). In this proposal, the reader’s physical display of emotion authenticates the new text that is produced.
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
Harkins, Angela Kim, "The Performative Reading of the Hodayot: The Arousal of Emotions and the Exegetical Generation of Texts" (2011). Religious Studies Faculty Publications. 72.
Harkins, Angela Kim (Sept. 2011) “The Performative Reading of the Hodayot: The Arousal of Emotions and the Exegetical Generation of Texts.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 21.1 (2011): 55-71.