The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary

The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary

3.8 9
by Robert Alter
     
 

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One of Newsweek’s Best Books of the Year and winner of the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement.See more details below

Overview

One of Newsweek’s Best Books of the Year and winner of the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
Every generation needs to revitalize the classics by looking at them anew, and many previous poets and scholars have taken stabs at translating the Psalms. One should welcome such efforts. Students will certainly find The Book of Psalms valuable, and it can usefully correct and supplement the more familiar English version.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

Following his critically acclaimed 2004 translation of the Torah (The Five Books of Moses), Alter (Hebrew & comparative literature, Univ. of California, Berkeley) here turns his attention and considerable skills to the book of Psalms, taking great pains along the way to remain faithful to both the sense of the original Hebrew and the rhythms, metaphors, wordplay, and unique voice of its poetry. An extensive introduction explains Alter's philosophy of translation and the challenges faced by those rendering Hebrew text in English, and detailed, footnoted commentary gives philological, literary, and theological background and justifications for word choice and usage. A short list of resources for further reading is also included. Alter's translation may seem somewhat startling for readers more familiar with the verbose language of the King James Version, but it offers both clarity and fidelity to the meaning, meter, and nuances of the original Hebrew. Highly recommended for theological and academic libraries and for public libraries with large theological collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/07.]
—Amanda K. Sprochi

James Wood - The New Yorker
“Alter is musically and poetically sensitive.... [He] takes us back to the essence of the meaning.”
Harold Bloom - New York Review of Books
“A considerable achievement.... Alter holds me to his darkly economical texts.”
Malcolm Jones - Newsweek
“You think you know these texts . . . until you read Alter, who reignites their beauty in bracing and unexpected ways.”
The New Yorker
Alter takes us back to the essence of the meaning. . . . Everything is clearer, seeming to have been rinsed not in the baptismal waters of the New Testament but in the life-giving water of the desert.— James Wood
New York Review of Books
A considerable achievement. . . . Alter holds me to his darkly economical texts.— Harold Bloom
Newsweek
You think you know these texts . . . until you read Alter, who reignites their beauty in bracing and unexpected ways.— Malcolm Jones
Adam Kirsch - New Republic
“Extraordinary.... We never forget, with Alter's Psalms, that the text we are reading is the work of human hands—not Holy Writ, but something at once less and more than that, great poetry.”
Barbara Berman - San Francisco Chronicle
“It is impossible to overstate the depth, the versatility, and the value of Alter's contribution.”
Mark Doty - Los Angeles Times
“One of the best outcomes of Alter's translation is a sense of an abrupt, muscular intensity; he restores to the Psalms a kind of strangeness that emanates from an encounter with a culture we recognize yet is distinctly alien to us, far removed in time and frame of mind.”
Walter Brueggemann - Christian Century
“Every reader of this translation will be led towards fresh thoughts and will discover favorites that inspire the imagination in new, rich ways.”
Jewish Book World
“In his compelling and swiftly moving translations, Alter has thrust the reader back to the place where the monotheistic religions were born out of even more ancient beginnings.”
The Tablet
“The achievement of this new translation is to present the Book of Psalms as a wonder of ancient literature.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393070378
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/19/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
351,396
File size:
1 MB

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