Desire for a Beginning Dread of One Single End.
Granary Books, 2000. Item #GB_81LTD
4 1/4 x 7 in., 56 pp., cloth over boards, clamshell box.
“I first read The Book of Questions twenty years ago, and my life was permanently changed by it. I can no longer think about the possibilities of literature without thinking of the example of Edmond Jabès. He is one of the great spirits of our time, a torch in the darkness.”
“All of Jabès’s books explore the double wound of consciousness, our being set apart from the rest of creation in the glorious and murderous species of humankind, and set apart from our fellow humans as individuals... His work explores the nature of the book and word, of man defining himself through the word against all that challenges him: death, silence, the void, the infinite—or God, our symbol for all of these.”
–Rosmarie Waldrop, “When Silence Speaks”
In a series of short aphoristic assertions, Jabès continues his lifelong interrogation of “The Book” within the cultural legacy of the Jewish tradition and its interpretative practices as framed within the 20th century. Jabès’s life work is charged in part by the Mallarméan concept of limit, of space beyond limit, and the space defined by such a limit. A sense of melancholy and loss permeates this work, an overwhelming sense of mortality, as suggested by the title. “Serene old age, like a blindfold. The kindness of age” reads one of the passages. Desire for a Beginning Dread of One Single End is the last substantial work of Jabès to be translated into English (by Rosmarie Waldrop). It is here sparely treated with subtle digital images made by Ed Epping and printed in several colors.
Printed in an edition of 2000 copies, this is from a special edition of 42 copies with inserts, bound in boards in a clamshell box; 12 of these are hors commerce. As new.
ABOUT EDMOND JABÈS
ABOUT ED EPPING
ABOUT ROSEMARIE WALDROP
Further reading: collected reviews and press, including Jeffery Beam in Oyster Boy Review and Publisher's Weekly.