Scanning underneath Job’s psychic skin. A psychoanalytic interpretation of Job’s body-image

Pieter van der Zwan

second dissertation project

The book of Job has been interpreted in a psychological way over many centuries, and recently a lot of research has focused on body portrayal in this ancient text. Combining these two foci, the aim of this project is to outline and interpret the subjective body-image(s) of the protagonist from a psychoanalytical perspective, an accepted approach in literary criticism. As a body-image is constructed by internalising both external and internal input, body references by other characters in the book as well as Job’s own bodily experiences will be analysed. The practical relevance is that narrative characters influence readers who are unconsciously affected by the body-image of the suffering Job.