This, then, is the passage from Augie March that caught my attention in this regard (Augie, here, is working for his brother Simon at the latter's coal yard):
"Well," he said to Happy and me, "why don't you two take the car and go see some of the dealers? Try to drum up some trade. Here's five bucks for beer money. I'll stay here with Coxie and try to get that back fence in shape. They'll steal us blind [if] we don't do something about it." Cox was the handyman, an old wino in a slap-happy painter's cap that looked like an Italian officer's lid. He sent him scouting along the fence of the Westinghouse plant for old planks. Coxie worked for hamburgers and a bottle of California K. Arakelian's sherry or of yocky-dock. He was watchman too, and slept on rags back of the green lattice before the seldom used front door. Off he limped--he carried a bullet, he claimed, from San Juan Hill--by the mile-long big meshed fence of the corporation in which such needs as fences were met by sub-officers' inviting contractors' bids a tight steel net permitted all to look in at the vast remote shimmer, the brick steeples, the long power-buildings and the Vesuvian soft coal under the scarcely smeared summer sky and gaudiness.It's that final detail about Coxie--"he carried a bullet, he claimed, from San Juan Hill"--that did it. Then I notice the other character details--he works for hamburgers or a bottle of sherry; sleeps on rags--do some of the same suggestive work. This character never appears again, but a life is briefly allowed to emerge here, before sinking back into the narrative, without any laborious back-story being filled in.
Again, I don't want to over-sell the comparison with the Hebrew Bible (not least because my experience with the Bible is highly limited!)--obviously, for just one example, Augie is the center of his own narrative. But I think such passages as the one quoted above, in the details I've highlighted, as well as Augie's general refusal to assign a meaning to his life and his uncertainty about it all, suggest an approach to literature that is more in the tradition of narrative, as argued by Josipovici, than in that of the novel, dominated as it is by story or even plot.