Saturday, 13 November 2010

Torah Torah Torah

Genesis—Bereshith (בראשית)
Exodus—Shemot (שמות)
Leviticus—Vayikra (ויקרא)
Numbers—Bamidbar (במדבר)
Deuteronomy—Devarim (דברים)

The Hebrew names, there, would make good sciencefictional character monikers.

There's also a (since random, striking) sonic progression at work: 'Bereshith' leads, via the repeated 'sh' and 'e' and the expressive proximity of 'b' and 'm' to 'Shemot', and then via a 'b'/'v' equivalence (think of the modern Greek beta) and an opening of the vowel to 'Vayikra'. Retaining the opening vowel but restating the initiail 'B' the neatly explosive 'bam!' and the bumpy aftermath of 'idbar' sets up the 'd' of Devarim. And the m (Bereshith/Shemot) takes us back to the initial B again.

There's an absurdist phonic narrative buried here, too; about the woman who needs to feed her bar-room pick-up stimulants to get him to perform in the the seedy hotel room. Embarrassing; she must -- viagra (bam!) in the bar, endeavouring.

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