Among the various etyma given for the word exile by Christine Brooke-Rose in ‘Exsul’, her article in Susan Rubin Suleiman’s Exile and Creativity (1998), I find a couple that are specifically relevant to the method I exploit here to discuss my views on the exilic reading of the three sacred books of Abrahamic religions. Discussing some of the more ancient and classic roots of the word, Brooke-Rose states:
… But then later, in Old French, exilier or essilier meant ‘to ravage’, ‘to devastate’, a shift in meaning still traceable in exterminate, literally ‘to drive beyond boundaries’. (Brooke-Rose 1998: 10)
My main emphasis is on the concept of ‘driving beyond boundaries’, not physically and territorially in the form of actual banishment from one’s own home and language to foreign lands and languages, but rather, on moving beyond the boundaries of the home of one text to the home of another, while discussing their relationship to each other with a view of the linguistic and narratological transformations the texts have undergone. I also see in ‘driving beyond boundaries’, in the exilic project, the underpinnings of another ‘drive beyond boundaries’, namely, the project of the prefix ‘post’ used in such terms as post-structuralism, post-colonialism and postmodernism, because the prefix connotes the drive to go beyond the boundaries of structuralism, colonialism and modernism. Here we see the march forward of the dynamics of ‘post’ on the one hand, and, on the other, the inertia to which the three ‘isms’ have been reduced.