The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary

The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary


By (author) Robert Alter

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 208mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 30 October 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393337049
  • ISBN 13: 9780393337044
  • Sales rank: 38,895

Product description

A cornerstone of the scriptural canon, the Book of Psalms has been a source of solace and joy for countless readers over millennia. This timeless poetry is beautifully wrought by a scholar whose translation of the Five Books of Moses was hailed as a "godsend" by Seamus Heaney and a "masterpiece" by Robert Fagles. Alter's The Book of Psalms captures the simplicity, the physicality, and the coiled rhythmic power of the Hebrew, restoring the remarkable eloquence of these ancient poems. His learned and insightful commentary illuminates the obscurities of the text.

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Author information

Robert Alter's ongoing translation of the Hebrew Bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation. His immense achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

Review quote

"You think you know these texts ... until you read Alter, who reignites their beauty in bracing and unexpected ways." -- Malcolm Jones "Alter is musically and poetically sensitive... [He] takes us back to the essence of the meaning." -- James Wood "A considerable achievement... Alter holds me to his darkly economical texts." -- Harold Bloom "Every reader of this translation will be led towards fresh thoughts and will discover favorites that inspire the imagination in new, rich ways." -- Walter Brueggemann "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 achievement of this new translation is to present the Book of Psalms as a wonder of ancient literature."