NORTON £13.99 (519pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Book of Psalms, Translated by Robert Alter
Friday 27 November 2009
After tackling Genesis and the Books of Moses, Alter's supple translation moves on to what he describes as "the most urgent, personally present of all the books of the Bible".
Alter explains the reason for his changes to the King James Version. The phase in Psalm 23 becomes "Though I walk in the vale of death's shadow" because it "better approximates the compactness" of the Masoretic origin, which utilised a poetic term for darkness that also punned on shadow and death. If many of Alter's Psalms plunge us into an alien milieu, they remain readable. The description of the wealthy wicked in Psalm 17 is almost palpable while the frolicking cetacean in the 104th Psalm might be from the Gospel According to Attenborough.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show