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Stranger in a Strange Land
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In Stranger in a Strange Land, Prochnik revisits the life and work of Gershom Scholem, whose once prominent reputation - as a Freud-like interpreter of the inner world of the Cosmos - has been in eclipse. He vividly conjures Scholem's upbringing in Berlin, and compellingly brings to life Scholem's transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic and philosopher. In doing so, he reveals how Scholem's frustration with the bourgeois ideology of Germany during the First World War led him to discover Judaism, Kabbalah, and finally Zionism, as potent counter-forces to Europe's suicidal nationalism. Prochnik's self-imposed exile in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual and theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature. Prochnik ultimately suggests that a new form of ecological pluralism must now inherit the historically energizing role once played by Kabbalah and Zionism in Jewish thought.
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A daring, singular biography of one of the great forgotten thinkers of the 20th century -- Gershom Scholem, the founder of modern Kabbalah

About the Author

George Prochnik's essays, poetry, and fiction have appeared in numerous journals. He has taught English and American literature at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is editor-at-large for Cabinet magazine, and is the author of The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World (2014), In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise (2010), and Putnam Camp: Sigmund Freud, James Jackson Putnam, and the Purpose of American Psychology (2006). He lives in New York City.

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