The Impossible Spaces

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Santiago García-Jalón

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Comparative Literature Keywords: garden of Eden; attempts at location; history of biblical exegesis; narrative strategies.

A close analysis of the text of Gen. 2:8-15, pertaining to the garden of Eden, shows the structural differences between said text and others from ancient mythologies that mention or describe a paradise. Likewise, that analysis suggests that the data provided by the Bible to locate paradise is merely a narrative device meant to dissipate all doubts as to the existence of the garden where God put human beings. Similarly to other spaces that appear in the Bible, the garden of Eden is but an impossible place. Throughout the centuries, however, recurring proposals have been made that aim to find paradise. As time went by, those proposals were progressively modified by the intellectual ideas dominant at any given era, thus leading the representations of the location of Paradise further and further away from the information provided by the biblical text.

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