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Thursday, December 1, 2011

More fun deconstructing children's literature

SAET » Tom Wright Reads Humpty Dumpty » The Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Clearly the writer is telling an Israel story, and here alludes to the Temple.  This echoes other lines in early 2nd Nursery Literature, such as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard (the "storehouse" of the Temple) and the bone (resurrection life) which she sought for her dog ("Gentiles"). "But when she got there, the cupboard was bare and the poor little doggie had none."  The temple had nothing to offer the Gentiles, and they thus remained in their state of Adamic sin and decay.
Somehow, Wright (and everyone who responded to the post) missed the significance of the name "Humpty Dumpty", an error I sought to correct in my response (awaiting moderation; I've added here the "during the clearing of the temple":that I meant to original comment and changed the word "invasion" in the original to "intrusion".)
"Clearly the writer is telling an Israel story, and here alludes to the Temple."
I’m surprised that no one has of yet deconstructed the name "Humpty Dumpty" itself. Remove the nonsensical last syllable from both words and you get "Hump" and "Dump".
The former, especially with the mention of the "wall" as noted by Wright, is a clear reference to the Temple Mount. But note that instead of the Temple {"wall") being on the Mount {"Hump"), the order is reversed in the rhyme so that the "Hump" is on the "wall". IOW, everything has been turned upside down and is in chaos (It may also be a subtle allusion to Jesus’ "city on a hill" in Matthew 5:14, but once again, with the order upside-down). This is further strengthened by the "Hump" being combined with the "Dump", as the name of Jerusalem’s dump is the well-known... Gehenna (or "Hell"), indicating an intrusion of the unholy into the place of the sacred that echoes Jesus’ quote of Jeremiah 7:11*: "My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers" during the clearing of the temple.
Need Mother Goose paint a clearer picture than this of what is going on here?
*I’m tempted to make a Slurpee joke here, but will attempt to resist it.
In a similar vein (the link to the following was provided in the "SAET » Tom Wright Reads Humpty Dumpty » The Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology" post).
Initial Explorations: Bultmann Reads Mother Goose
Internal evidence rejects the view that wehave here an original composition by Mary (Mother) Goose of Boston(1686-1743).[1] The phrasing of I-A is definitely late eighteenthcentury, since the Goose Period would have rendered it "diddley-diddley" (and thus "fiddley" in I-B). Furthermore, the sequence "cat-cow-dog-dish" represents an obvious redaction and is a compilation ofat least four different accounts.[2] Thus, the author of the piece isunknown,[3] and its date set between 1780 and 1820.[4] The Sitz imLeben of the Depression of 1815 may be reflected in III.2.
 See also "Of Bears (and others) of 'very little brain'"

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