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Bee Season, and: The Autograph Man (review)

Bee Season, and: The Autograph Man (review) the further drifting apart of the two centers of modern Jewish experience, a drifting that could ultimately result in a diminished level of cultural cross-pollination and other "lost books." Marc S. Bernstein Department of Linguistics & Languages Michigan State University Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg. New York: Anchor Books, 2001. 288 pp. $22.95 (c); $13.00 (p). The Autograph Man, by Zadie Smith. New York: Random House, 2002. 368 pp. $24.95 Jewish mysticism defines a quest for truth and transcendence. Using intense discipline, study, and the repetition of magic letters and syllables, the seeker aims to pierce life's contradictions and distractions and to reach God's realm of unity. The writers of the Kabbalah, the Zohar, and commentaries on these central texts warn of the rigors and dangers of this quest. The spiritual pilgrim risks error and madness as he works to achieve oneness with the "en sof," the infinite. But the risk may be worth the danger, for the few who breach the barrier between the human and divine can do wonders. They can, in fact, heal the world, so tragically fragmented by its distance from God. These arcane ideas and practices are usually associated with learned men of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Bee Season, and: The Autograph Man (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Purdue University.
ISSN
1534-5165
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

the further drifting apart of the two centers of modern Jewish experience, a drifting that could ultimately result in a diminished level of cultural cross-pollination and other "lost books." Marc S. Bernstein Department of Linguistics & Languages Michigan State University Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg. New York: Anchor Books, 2001. 288 pp. $22.95 (c); $13.00 (p). The Autograph Man, by Zadie Smith. New York: Random House, 2002. 368 pp. $24.95 Jewish mysticism defines a quest for truth and transcendence. Using intense discipline, study, and the repetition of magic letters and syllables, the seeker aims to pierce life's contradictions and distractions and to reach God's realm of unity. The writers of the Kabbalah, the Zohar, and commentaries on these central texts warn of the rigors and dangers of this quest. The spiritual pilgrim risks error and madness as he works to achieve oneness with the "en sof," the infinite. But the risk may be worth the danger, for the few who breach the barrier between the human and divine can do wonders. They can, in fact, heal the world, so tragically fragmented by its distance from God. These arcane ideas and practices are usually associated with learned men of

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 24, 2005

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