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The Fullness of Time


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About the Author

Gershom Scholem was born in Berlin in 1897 and settled in Jerusalem in 1923. For years he was Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University. Many regard Scholem as the founder of the modern academic study of Kabbalah. 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. About Translator- Richard Sieburth teaches Comparative Literature at New York University. His translations include Friedrich H lderlin's Hymns and Fragments, Michel Leiris's Nights as Day, Walter Benjamin's Moscow Diary, Gerard de Nerval's Selected Writings, and Maurice Sc ve's Delie. His English edition of Nerval won the 2000 PEN Book-of- the-Month-Club Translation Prize.


"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

"We see a great analytical mind at work . . . Richard Sieburth's deep understanding of Scholem's thought, and his masterful re-creation of Scholem's rhythms and rhymes, reflect the inner workings of these original German poems. Sieburth's translations offer a fascinating insight into the thoughts and literary sensibility of one of the great minds of the twentieth century." -- Peter Constantine, World Literature Today

""...Scholem's most private writing... The poems collected in Greetings from Angelus were never intended to be published; at most they were written for an audience of one. Often this was Walter Benjamin...[I]n this crucial period of Scholem's intellectual development, Benjamin was a key stimulus to his thinking about language, myth, and Judaism... [T]he most serious poems Scholem wrote concerned his spiritual disappointment in Zion." - Adam Kirsch, New York Review of Books

"The Fullness of Time offers an aspect of Scholem's own communing with the spirit of language that will be new even to those quite familiar with his works in philology and history of religion...the verses collected here were acts of private devotion." - Erica X Eisen, Threepenny 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

"Gershom Scholem wrestled with the great questions of his time: the fate of utopian dreams in the pincers of 20th century history and the lingering, transcendent value of friendship. Richard Sieburth's luminous translations capture Scholem's voice as he dances back and forth across the border line between punditry and prophecy, while always projection sheer passion for the Word." - George Prochnik

"Scholem has rare gifts for synthesis and generalization, as several of his more recent essays on Jewish messianism and tradition demonstrate, but his mind is equally remarkable for the way it adheres to the smallest particles of particular historical experience" - Robert Alter

"Gershom Scholem is first and foremost a poet of friendship: you can read this book as a loving, if at times jousting, life-long conversation with Walter Benjamin on topics ranging from Zion to Kafka to Klee. This makes the book a valuable historical document as much as a moving life-sequence of poems. Richard Sieburth's superb translation not only ferries over the meanings of the originals, but revitalizes them, causing Scholem's fairly traditional German rhymed verse to positively sparkle in English." - Pierre Joris

"Richard Sieburth has performed a magnificent service . . . he has found a contemporary equivalent for Sceve's extremely compact music and enabled it to breathe in English, while still retaining the tension of the original." -
John Ashbery (on Maurice Sceve's Emblems of Desire)

"Like a jewelry chest, the covers of this book open on a gem of German prose, brought to its full radiance by Richard Sieburth's splendid translation." - William H. Gass (on Georg Buchner's Lenz)

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