Tuesday, 12 January 2010

David Rosenberg's Literary Bible

Thanks to the excellent Suzanne McCarthy for pointing to David Rosenberg's new translation A Literary Bible.

Years ago I read Rosenberg's the Book of J and enjoyed it very much - as much for its imagination as for its scholarship - which is not at all to do down the scholarship, the imagination of the writer of the book of J being a woman was fascinating.
Suzanne also points to Frank Kermode's review of A Literary Bible, where he takes up some of the links and progress from the Book of J to the current Bible in translation.
It does sound as if I might have to treat myself to this even if we seem to have no bookshelf space left and I dream longingly of buying the house next door to turn into a library!
Here are some extracts from the Amazon blurb and reviews:

A Jewish sage once said of the original Bible, "Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it." David Rosenberg has done just this and thus created A Literary Bible, a breathtaking translation that sets a new standard for reading and interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures.
Until the present moment, translators have presented a homogeneous Bible in uniform style — even as the various books within it were written by different authors, in diverse genres and periods, stretching over many centuries. Now, Rosenberg’s artful translation restores what has been left aside: the essence of imaginative creation in the Bible.
There are other wonderful aspects of Rosenberg's book. Included are prefaces to the readings and there is a wonderful epilogue, "How the Bible Came About" and an afterward, "How This Book Came About". One thing that I certainly discovered is that this translation is the one I will keep close to me especially when I want to read for the sheer pleasure of reading.