The Hebrew Bible
Chair: Raphael Zarum
A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely-wrought prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David’s flawed humanity, to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job’s incendiary questioning of God’s ways, this work resonates with a startling immediacy.
The George Webber Memorial Event
Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for translation and the Koret Jewish Book Award. His achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is Emeritus Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.