Poems by Gershom Scholem
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 The Fullness of Time 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.
“"Gershom Scholem's scholarship was of [the] rare, life-giving kind. Not only have his studies of the Kabbalah altered . . . the image of Judaism--but his explorations, translations, and presentations of Kabbalistic writings exercise a formidable influence on literary theory at large, on the ways in which non-Jewish and wholly agnostic critics and scholars read poetry." -- George Steiner, New Yorker "Gershom Scholem's achievement has already put a generation of readers in his debt. He has intrepidly, singlehandedly, almost monomaniacally pursued the task of saving the literature of Jewish mysticism . . . restoring it to an estate of respect, honor, and importance." -- Arthur A. Cohen, New York Times Book Review "Abrupt, magisterial, quizzical, sometimes acidulous, and at moments poignantly wistful.... Scholem's verses return to an authentic Hasidic tradition of indicting God." -- Harold Bloom "An excellent bilingual selection. Richard Sieburth's versions are lucid, sensitive, forceful, and always attentive to the originals. Steven Wasserstrom's incisive commentary provides the ideal context.... Given the complexities that it resolves-historical, biographical, theological, literary-this edition is a model of its kind." -- Jeremy Adler, The Times Literary Supplement”