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Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter


ISBN: 9780393316704

2 reviews

Presently, W.W. Norton & Company is out of Genesis: Translation and Commentary. Additional copies are expected to be available in October.

"[Here is] the Genesis for our generation and beyond."―Robert Fagles

Genesis begins with the making of heaven and earth and all life, and ends with the image of a mummy—Joseph's—in a coffin. In between come many of the primal stories in Western culture: Adam and Eve's expulsion from the garden of Eden, Cain's murder of Abel, Noah and the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham's binding of Isaac, the covenant of God and Abraham, Isaac's blessing of Jacob in place of Esau, the saga of Joseph and his brothers.

In Robert Alter's brilliant translation, these stories cohere in a powerful narrative of the tortuous relations between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, eldest and younger brothers, God and his chosen people, the people of Israel and their neighbors. Alter's translation honors the meanings and literary strategies of the ancient Hebrew and conveys them in fluent English prose. It recovers a Genesis with the continuity of theme and motif of a wholly conceived and fully realized book. His insightful, fully informed commentary illuminates the book in all its dimensions.

This book is paperback.


"A masterly new translation." —Time

"Here is Genesis in all its power and presence.... Alter offers us an English prose as gravely cadenced as that of the King James Bible, and yet as fresh, precise, and strong as the best contemporary narrative can be." —Robert Fagles, award-winning translator of The Iliad and The Odyssey

"Alter's achievement is immensely impressive.... The illuminating notes alone make this volume indispensable for anyone wanting to do a close reading in English translation and understand all the possibilities of the original Hebrew." —John A. Phillips, Boston Globe

"Genesis remains our best single collection of perennial stories. Alter translates them glowingly, without slickness or archness. His running commentary illuminates the true language of life in both Hebrew and English." —Roger Shattuck

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30 Aug 2021
James W.
United States United States
I recommend this product
My Review of Genesis: Translation and Commentary

Very hard for me to read. Robert Alter's writing and vocabulary is for advance and above my everyday vocabulary made it supper hard for me to read. I did learn some things about Genesis that I did not know. It was interesting and enjoyable reading.

11 Aug 2021
Karl G.
United States United States
I recommend this product
Genesis - Robert Alter

This translation and commentary was excellent. The comments were very good and spot on. I enjoyed reading this, and recommend it for those who want a deep dive into the book of Genesis.

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Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter

Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter