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Comparing translations

After completing a cycle of Torah with Targum Onkelos, this year I am going to try to complete a cycle with Peshitta and Septuagint as well, or ? and ?, as BHS refers to them. Here is something I noticed in Genesis chapter 1: In  verse 11 God commands the creation of trees: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים […]

The One Book Meme

I don’t tag, but I like memes. I saw this one at Codex. One book that changed your life:We Have Reason To Believe by the late Rabbi Louis Jacobs. One book that you’ve read more than once:Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. One book that you’d want on a desert island: Midrash […]

Asterix the Linguist

The year is 50 BC. All Gaul is occupied by the Romans. All? No! One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders… A lot of the charm of the Asterix series by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo comes from the way satirical projections of modern life (e.g. chariots on dual carriageways […]

Jewish Book Week II

Thanks to Hagahot, I picked up the bargain of my life today: the Magnes Press facsimile edition of Gershom Scholem’s own copy of the Zohar. According to the introduction Scholem bought this Zohar in 1915 when he was 17, and it never left his desk for the rest of his life. At some point when […]

Jewish Book Week

I stopped by the Jewish Book Week on the way home. It’s the first day, so I’m still comparing prices and looking at titles and haven’t bought anything yet. One title really made my mind boggle: חכמי טרנסילבניה, The Sages of Transylvania. I wonder what they were studying. I didn’t open it, because I thought […]

Five things about books

Blog meme time (thanks to Talmida). Total number of books I’ve owned. No idea. How do you count? Do multi-volume sets count as 1 or the number of volumes? I have a lot of those. The total is certainly more than 1,000, probably less than 10,000 Last book I bought. A dead heat between Travels […]

VIZZINI: I’m waiting

Last January I read that someone had discovered an annotated edition of Beowulf with translation by no less than J. R. R. Tolkien, and that it was “scheduled for publication this coming summer.” I’m still waiting. Being an unashamed intellectual snob and show-off (what my ex-wife would have called a “tadas mocka”), I prefer for […]

I read Golden Gate by Vikram Seth this week, a book I have been keeping an eye open for for years, and was not disappointed. When I read An Equal Music a few years ago I thought it was one of the best books I had read for a long time (although I later found […]

I’m sorry that I returned Antoine de Saint-Exupery’sThe Wisdom of the Sands to the library without having read much of it. I found it difficult to get into, I don’t know whether because of something in the book itself or because of defects in the translation. Chiefly though, it isn’t really a book to take […]