A bilingual collection of poetry from pioneering scholar in Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem.
With this volume, Scholem's work reaches beyond the confines of the academy and enters a literary dialogue with writers and philosophers like Walter Benjamin and Hans Jonas.
Gershom Scholem's Greetings From Angelus contains dark, lucid political poems about Zionism and assimilation, parodies of German and Jewish philosophers, and poems to writers and friends such as Walter Benjamin, Hans Jonas, Ingeborg Bachmann, S. Y. Agnon, among others. The earliest poems in this volume begin in 1915 and extend to 1967, revealing how poetry played a formative role in Scholem's early life and career. This collection is translated by Richard Sieburth, who comments, "Scholem's acts of poetry still speak to us (and against us) to this very day, simultaneously grounded as they are in the impossibly eternal and profoundly occasional." The volume is edited and introduced by Steven M. Wasserstrom, who carefully situates the poems in Scholem's historical, biographical, and theological landscape.
One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century, Gershom Scholem virtually created the subject of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. Literature played a crucial role in his life, especially in his formative years. This bilingual volume contains his dark, shockingly prescient poems about Zionism, his parodies of German and Jewish philosophers, and poems to other writers, notably a series of powerful lyrics addressed over the course of years to his closest and oldest friend, Walter Benjamin.
Translator Richard Sieburth comments, "Scholem's acts of poetry still speak to us (and against us) to this very day, grounded as they are in the impossibly eternal and profoundly occasional."
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Gershom Scholem, philosopher, writer, historian, and poet, was born in Berlin in 1897 and settled in Jerusalem in 1923. For years he was Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University. His many books include Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah, and Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship. He died in 1982.
Richard Sieburth is a Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His translations include Hölderlin's Hymns and Fragments and Benjamin's Moscow Diary-and for Archipelago, Büchner's Lenz, The Salt Smugglers by Gérard de Nerval, Maurice Scève's Delie, and Stroke by Stroke by Henri Michaux. His English edition of Nerval's Selected Writings won the 2000 PEN Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize.
Steven M. Wasserstrom is the Moe and Izetta Tonkon Professor of Judaic Studies and the Humanities at Reed College. He is the author of Between Muslim and Jew: The Problem of Symbiosis under Early Islam, which received the Award for Excellence in Historical Studies from the American Academy of Religion, and Religion after Religion: Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos.
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