Book of the Week

Donald Harman Akenson, Surpassing Wonder. The Invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. New York: Harcourt Brace; Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001. 672 p. $37.95 CAD. ISBN 9780773522893.

finding this volume is the bibliographical highlight for the end of this week. In a continuous search for the Bibliography one may find gems. I have found one yesterday evening. after reading a few pages I have realized that the alternative perspectives to the conventional readings, I was so eagerly hunting, were right under my nose (in one of my digital folders). what a night!

Aphorisms and Kafka

The Aphorisms of Franz Kafka. Edited by Reiner Stach and translated by Shelley Frisch. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2022. 256 p. $24.95/£20.00 ISBN 9780691205922

this new translation of Kafka’s Zürau aphorisms is a wonderful undertaking that allows the reader to easily see how this bilingual edition opens up new and complex paths in reading Kafka and his aphorisms. the dynamic of this editorial enterprise is an opportunity for the reader to reconnect, once again, with the author’s lines and with some of his thought fragments.

as a fragmentary writing this volume is another doorway into a particularly fascinating world of ideas. 

Heidegger-Death & Being

Johannes Achill Niederhauser, Heidegger on Death and Being. An Answer to the Seinsfrage. London: Springer, 2021.

A new book on Heidegger signed by Johannes Achill Niederhauser (Birkbeck College London).

The author dives directly in ‘the role of death’ in Heidegger’s thought. For Niederhauser, death – as a phenomenon – is a key concept to understand the ‘question of being’ asked by Heidegger.

The volume is well written and well anchored in discussions related to being, time, technology, death and the meaning of existence or language.

Death is a pin-point for Heidegger. One can learn, again, from this volume that ‘how to die’ is more meaningful by studying ‘philosophy’ as it was understood also by Heidegger.

Readings of this volume will enrich any type of reader interested in contemporary philosophical thought.


Gilles Deleuze, What is Grounding. Grand Rapids, MI: &&& Publishing, 2015. Edited by Tony Yanick, Jason Adams & Mohammad Salemy. Translated by Arjen Kleinherenbrink. 185 pp. ISBN 978-0-692-45454-1. E-BOOK (PDF)

This volume is based on the notes taken by Pierre Lefebvre on Deleuze’s seminar Qu’est-ce que fonder? (1956-1957).

On Deleuze

Arjen Kleinherenbrink, Against Continuity. Gilles Deleuze’s Speculative Realism. 328 pp. £95 ISBN 9781474447805. E-BOOK (PDF)

The volume published by Arjen Kleinherenbrink on Deleuze is a must reading for any student of deleuzian universe of ideas. The author walks the reader through a series of relevant aspects as machines, ontology, externality and machinic body.

Deleuze’s work is read together and in parallel with those of its commentators.

Discourse and Religion

The volume Discourse Research and Religion. Disciplinary Use and Interdisciplinary Dialogues, edited by Jay Johnston and Kocku von Stuckrad (Berlin-Boston: De Gruyter, 2021) is a comprehensive and systematic attempt to promote the discursive study of religion.

The discursive dimension in the production of knowledge allows a critical analysis of academic practice, scholarly communication or open peer-review. To whom the volume will appeal is a question of openness to the large variety of disciplines as, but not restricted to, religious studies, philosophy, cultural studies or theology.

The volume has an interview with Russell M. McCutcheon, discourses and sociology of knowledge (Reiner Keller), religious discourse (Dominique Maingueneau), an analysis of the historical discourse (Kocku von Stuckrad), the multicultural drama of CDA and DST perspectives (Frans Wijsen), discourse theories in cultural studies (Anne Koch), discursive analysis of religion and political science (Erin K. Wilson), discourse and economy question (Guy Redden), dynamics of the human rights discourse (Hans G. Kippenberg), gender (Morny Joy), beyond language (Jay Johnston).

This volume is a must reading!

The Jefferson Bible

Peter Manseau, The Jefferson Bible: A Biography. Lives of Great Religious Books; Princeton and London: Princeton University Press, 2020. 236 pp. $24.95 / £20.00. ISBN 9780691205694.

The unusual artifact entitled the Jefferson Bible deserves a detailed bio-graphy. This enterprise was undertaken by Peter Manseau and delivered to the reader through the Princeton University Press’s series of Lives of Great Religious Books.

What is the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, known as Jefferson Bible? A cultural artifact? It is an experiment? It is a book? It is all these and more. We know that was handcrafted, a cut & paste operation. (5)

Thomas Jefferson gathered passages, reordered, repurposed those passages according to ‘his own intuition and sensibilities.’ For Manseau, Jefferson’s enterprise resemble a dadaist découpé, a cut-up, a music sampling, a music remix, and simultaneously ‘it is many books.’ (7-8)

This hypercreative item contains its time(s) and remains a witness of what ‘new’ and ‘intriguing’ would be read in the future.

Ioan Petru Culianu, 05.01.1950


Corry Shores, The Logic of Gilles Deleuze. Basic Principles. London-New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021. 312 pp. $103.50. ISBN 9781350062269. E-BOOK (PDF)

Within the new volume on the logic of Deleuze the author, Corry Shores, manages to show how from concepts and tools developed by the contemporary logic can be formulated the basic principles of a deleuzian logic.

Corry Shores manages to give to the reader a strong logical assemblage already at work within Deleuze’s oeuvre. Within 3 parts, from dis-composition and dis-identification, the logic of otherness, to falsity, the author un-folds 8 well written chapters. A reading of this volume in parallel with Deleuze’s books Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation and The Logic of Sense give more sense to Shores creative logical experiment.

~ This volume is a must reading for anyone interested in Deleuze’s work.

about interpretation

“23. Interpretation

If I read me, then I read into me:
I can’t construe myself objectively.
But he who climbs consuming his own might
Bears me with him unto the brighter light.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 15.