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.
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.