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Read into the story arc

July 01, 2007

CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE is correct to self-describe as "churlish" his review of the new Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball ["For 'Ark' to Triumph, Let Kids Go With the Flow," June 24]. Given Hawthorne's expertise in critiquing three-dimensional spaces, it is disheartening to see him take a so one-dimensional view of the story of Noah (which he dismisses as a "dark biblical story" involving an "Old Testament God at his most violent and most vengeful.")

If Hawthorne is able to discern the narratives hidden in complex postmodernist buildings, he should be able to discern that even simple pre-modernist biblical narratives have underlying purposes and meanings. Reading the Hebrew Bible is much like reading a building in that it relies on (and requires) a strong interpretive tradition.

Why was Noah commanded to make room for every animal -- even mosquitoes and tarantulas? Why was humanity given a second chance at redemption? Why is the rainbow covenant extended to all peoples on the planet, as the children of Noah?

BOB WOLFE

Manhattan Beach

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