Master of Graphic Wisdom
This essay explores Will Eisner’s work in A Contract with God (1978). The book, emanating from pre-biblical wisdom, is paradigmatic for its harsh warning about human expectations. In it, Eisner created parables and midrash, literary criticism and political commentary, to capture moments that reveal a culture to itself. This emerging paradigm, the essay argues, is a new form of Jewish wisdom.The essay reads Eisner’s work both through the work of Isaiah Berlin, but also as a Midrash on the book of Job. In utilizing Berlin’s political thought, along with the foundation of the biblical tale, one can discern Eisner’s vision of transformative, messianic politics, that lie in the vicissitudes and battles of the everyday.
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