[Perry offers] a coherent and comprehensive interpretation of the Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), a book that has elicited widely varying interpretive responses over the centuries. He takes up the view, from time to time argued, that the book presents conflicting points of view, thesis and antithesis, and fashions a distinctive translation/interpretation along these lines. One of the distinguishing and impressive features of his work is that he presses his interpretive strategy with rigor and insists on working out the details. Thus the translation is an important part of his book since it holds both Perry and his reader, once launched on this approach, to the whole text. The result is a dialogical reading of Kohelet that makes an important contribution to biblical scholarship, radical in the thoroughness with which it develops the dialogical approach yet securely connected with various lines of traditional biblical interpretation of the book. Indeed, in some ways his commentary resembles Rabbinic midrash. --David M. Gunn, Columbia Seminary
About the Author
T. A. Perry is Professor of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and author of several books including The Moral Proverbs of Santob de Carrion (Princeton, 1987) and Wisdom Literature and the Structure of Proverbs (Penn State, forthcoming 1993).