January 1, 2008


Yet, somehow these do manage to hang together.

Alter, Robert, The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary (New York: Norton, 2007).

Alter, Robert, The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary (New York: Norton, 2004) (Reading this less as a 'religious' text and more as epic poem, I am reminded of John Fowles's comment on point. "The bible, I chanced to start reading some of the last Old Testament prophets the other day. A revelation of poetry; superb language and imagery. It is a mistake to imagine that the Bible is the same in all languages. The English translation is a work of great genius; it should be to us what Homer was to the Greeks." John Fowles, The Journals, Volume 1 edited by Charles Drazin (London: Jonathan Cape, 2003), at 140. I, as did Fowles, tend to prefer the King James Version.).

Bird, Kai, and Martin J. Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (New York: Knopf, 2005) ("'What are we to make of a civilization which has always regarded ethics as an essential part of human life [but] which has not been able to talk about the prospect of killing almost everybody except in prudential and game-theoretical terms?'" Id. at xi. "The firing bombings were no secret. Ordinary Americans read about the raids in their newspapers. Thoughtful people understood that strategic bombing of cities raised profound ethical questions. 'I remember Mr. Stimson [the secretary of war] saying to me,' Oppenheimer later remarked, 'that he thought it appalling that there should be no protest over the air raids which we were conducting against Japan, which in the case of Tokyo led to such extraordinarily heavy loss of life. He didn't say that the air strikes shouldn't be carried on, but he did think there was something wrong with a country where no one questioned that. . . .'" Id. at 291.).

Hugo, Victor, Les Miserables translated from the French by Charles E. Wilbour (New York: Modern Library, 1992).

Lakhnavi, Ghalib & Abdullah Bilgrami, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction, a complete and unabridged translation by Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Introduction by Hamid Dabashi (New York: Modern Library, 2007).

Vargas Llosa, Mario, The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Miserables translated from the Spanish by John King (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007).

Happy New Year. May all who visit these posting have a glorious year of reading.