The Lost Book of Paradise: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

David Rosenberg, Author Hyperion Books $22.95 (163p) ISBN 978-1-56282-759-5
Regarding this book as ``an imaginary work of scholarship'' based on the lost 11th-century B.C.E. Sefer Gan Eden , or ``Scroll of Paradise,'' Rosenberg, coauthor of The Book of J , sets out to re-create the Garden of Eden story in poetic form, and to offer two kinds of quasi-fictitious commentary on it: his own, and that of Devorah Bat-David, characterized as a scholar at the Solomonic library in Jerusalem. This ambitious literary foray into the ancient past is playful and earnest, fabulist and scholarly. Inspired by admittedly incomplete suggestions in archeological sources and Hebrew commentaries, Rosenberg challenges assumptions about the content of a legend dear to Western consciousness, about the possibilities of poetic language and about the rights of poets to recast familiar material by using the creative strengths at their disposal. The book is meant for the adventurous in mind. Rosenberg's sensuous and respectful approach to language, parallel to his approach to creation itself, is not without some interpretive mischief, which is bound to attact addmirers and detractors. For example, two snakes, not one, inhabit this garden, and Adam is seduced by the female serpent, not by Eve. Scholars, of course, are likely to return Rosenberg's challenge. He wants to cause discussion, and he will. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Paperback - 163 pages - 978-0-7868-8073-7
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