By Henry Roth

Whilst Henry Roth released his debut novel name It Sleep in 1934, it used to be greeted with enormous serious acclaim even though, in these instances, lackluster revenues. merely with its paperback ebook thirty years later did this novel obtain the popularity it deserves----and nonetheless enjoys. Having sold-to-date hundreds of thousands of copies all over the world, name It Sleep is the superb tale of David Schearl, the "dangerously imaginative" baby coming of age within the slums of recent York.

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What did Moses say to Aaron and the chiefs of Israel? Why did he speak just to them? Why is what he said not written down? Who is the narrator that is withholding the knowledge, teasing us with this secret? As Hélène Domon writes, “In the absence of this speech, anyone who read was doomed to write. . The absent, missing, elided speech opened within the tabular book (yet at its outside) the irreducible endlessness of writing” (118–119). From the beginning of the Book, from the moment God proclaims himself (or refuses to), from the first moment of God’s writing, we begin the endless wandering: the Book is text.

What then is the Unknown? It is the boundary to which reason repeatedly comes . . it is the different, the absolutely different” (Philosophical Fragments 55). God is beyond or at the limit-point of knowledge, unreadable by reason. Kierkegaard, like Nietzsche after him, self-consciously creates a literary style to communicate ideas outside of traditional philosophizing. Throughout his writings, Kierkegaard’s use of pseudonyms places as many as four or five different personae into a philosophical work, forcing the reader to carve out positions arrived at by the conflict between viewpoints, rather than following the argument of a single voice.

As opposed to the Greek/Christian tendency to search for unity, to gather various meanings into a one, the “rabbinic tendency, by contrast, is towards differentiation, metaphorical, multiplicity, multiple meanings” (Handelman 33). We find a similar statement in Geoffrey Hartman’s and Sanford Budick’s Midrash and Literature, where Hartman writes of the close relationship between Jewish Scripture and literature and between literary and rabbinical hermeneutics: The problem we face, strangely enough, is not that we cannot define Scripture but that having gradually redefined fiction in the light of Scripture we now find it hard to distinguish between them.

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