They are sometimes ludicrous, often ugly, and almost uniformly tyrannical. They have stories sticking out in odd places; they have holes in their sides. Those that claim to represent the state of short fiction at any given time are typically lying, to whatever extent mute volumes of literature can lie. I myself first read my favorite short story of all time call it the FSSOAT in an anthology assigned in a college creative writing class. And we have many chances to do this kind of discovery, because every few years, there seems to be a new big-deal short fiction anthology hitting the shelves.
To figure it out, I looked at 20 short fiction anthologies published between and you can see the full list of anthologies I surveyed at the bottom of the page. This admittedly makes the list skew American, but this was fairly unavoidable. I made no distinction between stories by the same author published under different names i. Now, whether those are the most- read short stories of the past odd years is another question entirely. So without further ado:. White Virginia Woolf. Robert M.
Zenner combines into what he deems were the original choral odes: Pss. The two strophes and the epode are Ps. Other such duplicated portions of psalms are Ps. This loss of the original form of some of the psalms is allowed by the Biblical Commission 1 May to have been due to liturgical practices, neglect by copyists, or other causes. There are also the Psalms of Solomon , which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin, likely originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation. These and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of psalms were selected from a wider set.
Hermann Gunkel 's pioneering form-critical work on the psalms sought to provide a new and meaningful context in which to interpret individual psalms—not by looking at their literary context within the Psalter which he did not see as significant , but by bringing together psalms of the same genre Gattung from throughout the Psalter. Gunkel divided the psalms into five primary types:.
Hymns , songs of praise for God's work in creation or history. They typically open with a call to praise, describe the motivation for praise, and conclude with a repetition of the call. Two sub-categories are "enthronement psalms", celebrating the enthronement of Yahweh as king, and Zion psalms, glorifying Mount Zion , God's dwelling-place in Jerusalem.
Communal laments , in which the nation laments some communal disaster. In general, the individual and communal subtypes can be distinguished by the use of the singular "I" or the plural "we". However, the "I" could also be characterising an individual's personal experience that was reflective of the entire community.
Royal psalms , dealing with such matters as the king's coronation, marriage and battles. Individual laments lamenting the fate of the particular individual who utters them. They are by far the most common type of psalm. They typically open with an invocation of God, followed by the lament itself and pleas for help, and often ending with an expression of confidence. A subset is the psalm of confidence, in which the psalmist expresses confidence that God will deliver him from evils and enemies. Individual thanksgiving psalms , the opposite of individual laments, in which the psalmist thanks God for deliverance from personal distress.
In addition to these five major genres, Gunkel also recognised a number of minor psalm-types, including:. The composition of the psalms spans at least five centuries, from Psalm 29 , possibly an Israelite adaptation of an entire Canaanite hymn to Baal ,  to others clearly from the post-Exilic period not earlier than the fifth century B.
The majority originated in the southern kingdom of Judah and were associated with the Temple in Jerusalem , where they probably functioned as libretto during the Temple worship. Exactly how they did this is unclear, although there are indications in some of them: "Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar," suggests a connection with sacrifices, and "Let my prayer be counted as incense" suggests a connection with the offering of incense. The biblical poetry of Psalms uses parallelism as its primary poetic device.
Parallelism is a kind of symmetry , in which an idea is developed by the use of restatement, synonym, amplification, grammatical repetition, or opposition. An example of synonymous parallelism:. Two lines expressing opposites is known as antithetic parallelism. An example of antithetic parallelism:.
Two clauses expressing the idea of amplifying the first claim is known as expansive parallelism. An example of expansive parallelism:. Many scholars believe the individual Psalms were redacted into a single collection in Second-Temple times. In time, this approach developed into recognizing overarching themes shared by whole groups of psalms. In , Gerald H.
Wilson 's The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter proposed — by parallel with other ancient eastern hymn collections — that psalms at the beginning and end or "seams" of the five books of Psalms have thematic significance, corresponding in particular with the placement of the royal psalms. He pointed out that there was a progression of ideas, from adversity, through the crux of the collection in the apparent failure of the covenant in Psalm 89, leading to a concert of praise at the end. He concluded that the collection was redacted to be a retrospective of the failure of the Davidic covenant , exhorting Israel to trust in God alone in a non-messianic future.
Psalm 1 calls the reader to a life of obedience; Psalm 73 Brueggemann's crux psalm faces the crisis when divine faithfulness is in doubt; Psalm represents faith's triumph, when God is praised not for his rewards, but for his being. Mitchell's The Message of the Psalter took a quite different line. Building on the work of Wilson and others,  Mitchell proposed that the Psalter embodies an eschatological timetable like that of Zechariah 9— These three views—Wilson's non-messianic retrospective of the Davidic covenant, Brueggemann's sapiential instruction, and Mitchell's eschatologico-messianic programme—all have their followers, although the sapiential agenda has been somewhat eclipsed by the other two.
Shortly before his untimely death in , Wilson modified his position to allow for the existence of messianic prophecy within the Psalms' redactional agenda.
For example, a film director, dance choreographer, orchestra conductor, etc. Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea? I come to your house and want a bed; you tell me you can only give me half a one; that the other half belongs to a certain harpooneer. For now I liked nothing better than to have Queequeg smoking by me, even in bed, because he seemed to be full of such serene household joy then. There, she admitted it.
The Psalms were written not merely as poems, but as songs for singing. More than a third of the psalms are addressed to the Director of Music. Some psalms exhort the worshipper to sing e. Some headings denote the musical instruments on which the psalm should be played Pss.
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Some refer to singing at the sheminit or octave Pss. And others preserve the name for ancient eastern modes, like mut la-ben Death of the son; Ps. Despite the frequently heard view that their ancient music is lost, the means to reconstruct it are still extant. Fragments of temple psalmody are preserved in ancient church and synagogue chant, particularly in the tonus peregrinus melody to Psalm Regardless of academic research, Sephardic Jews have retained a tradition in the Masoretic cantillation.
Most individual psalms involve the praise of God—for his power and beneficence, for his creation of the world, and for his past acts of deliverance for Israel. The psalms envision a world in which everyone and everything will praise God, and God in turn will hear their prayers and respond. Worst of all is when God "hides his face" and refuses to respond, because this puts in question the efficacy of prayer which is the underlying assumption of the Book of Psalms.
Some psalms are called " maskil " maschil because in addition they impart wisdom. Most notable of these is Psalm which is sometimes called the "Maskil of David", others include Psalm 32 and Psalm Individual psalms were originally hymns, to be used on various occasions and at various sacred sites; later, some were anthologised, and might have been understood within the various anthologies e. In later Jewish and Christian tradition, the psalms have come to be used as prayers, either individual or communal, as traditional expressions of religious feeling.
Psalms are used throughout traditional Jewish worship. Many complete Psalms and verses from Psalms appear in the morning services Shacharit. The pesukei dezimra component incorporates Psalms 30, and — Psalm commonly referred to as " Ashrei ", which is really the first word of two verses appended to the beginning of the Psalm , is read three times every day: once in shacharit as part of pesukei dezimrah , as mentioned, once, along with Psalm 20, as part of the morning's concluding prayers , and once at the start of the afternoon service.
On Festival days and Sabbaths, instead of concluding the morning service, it precedes the Mussaf service. Psalms 95—99, 29, 92, and 93, along with some later readings, comprise the introduction Kabbalat Shabbat to the Friday night service. Traditionally, a different "Psalm for the Day"— Shir shel yom —is read after the morning service each day of the week starting Sunday, Psalms: 24, 48, 82, 94, 81, 93, This is described in the Mishnah the initial codification of the Jewish oral tradition in the tractate Tamid.
According to the Talmud, these daily Psalms were originally recited on that day of the week by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem. From Rosh Chodesh Elul until Hoshanah Rabbah , Psalm 27 is recited twice daily following the morning and evening services. There is a Minhag custom to recite Psalm 30 each morning of Chanukkah after Shacharit: some recite this in place of the regular "Psalm for the Day", others recite this additionally.
When a Jew dies, a watch is kept over the body and tehillim Psalms are recited constantly by sun or candlelight, until the burial service. Historically, this watch would be carried out by the immediate family, usually in shifts, but in contemporary practice this service is provided by an employee of the funeral home or chevra kadisha. Many Jews complete the Book of Psalms on a weekly or monthly basis. Each week, some also say a Psalm connected to that week's events or the Torah portion read during that week. In addition, many Jews notably Lubavitch , and other Chasidim read the entire Book of Psalms prior to the morning service, on the Sabbath preceding the calculated appearance of the new moon.
The reading of psalms is viewed in Jewish tradition as a vehicle for gaining God's favor. They are thus often specially recited in times of trouble, such as poverty, disease, or physical danger; in many synagogues, Psalms are recited after services for the security of the State of Israel. Sefer ha-Chinuch  states that this practice is designed not to achieve favor, as such, but rather to inculcate belief in Divine Providence into one's consciousness, consistently with Maimonides ' general view on Providence.
New Testament references show that the earliest Christians used the Psalms in worship, and the Psalms have remained an important part of worship in most Christian Churches.