Dialogue and Interpretation

by caseybedell

Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, p. 182:

“Everything in the world of biblical narrative ultimately gravitates towards dialogue.  Quantitatively, a remarkably large part of the narrative burden is carried by dialogue, the transactions between characters typically unfolding through the words they exchange, with only the most minimal intervention of the narrator.”

In other words, good interpretation requires careful overhearing.