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Edmond Jabès and the Archaeology of the Book

Text, Pre-Texts, Contexts

This book offers a fresh reflection on The Book of Questions by the French-Egyptian Jewish writer Edmond Jabès and its readings, and proposes to re-contextualize this enigmatic writing through the lens of the author’s manuscripts. Addressed are the main prisms through which Jabès’ oeuvre has been read since its publication in 1963: Jewishness, the Shoah, intertextuality with Midrash and Kabbalah, hermeticism and interpretation. It analyzes their shapes and their becoming in the work-in-progress, reveals the dynamics and the contexts of their evolution from the pre-texts to the text and beyond, and reflect on the relationship between creation, interpretation, and writing as a process. It seeks to question and rethink accepted readings of The Book of Questions and to challenge our reading of enigmatic writing.

Author Information

Tsivia Frank-Wygoda, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

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Audience: Researchers, Students (Literary Studies, Jewish Studies, French Studies)