- Series: Modern Jewish Philosophy and Religion: Translations and Critical Studies
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 029920720X
- ISBN-13: 978-0299207205
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,304,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Star of Redemption (Modern Jewish Philosophy and Religion: Translations and Critical Studies) Hardcover – March 15, 2005
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Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book as written in the original German is indeed a formidable work. This is because Rosenzweig was able to assume a level of education in his post-World-War-One audience that hardly survives today. He often does not name his sources directly, for example alluding to Goethe's "Faust" throughout the book without citing it explicitly. The same goes for figures in the history of philosophy and theology.
Thus any translation is a daunting task, as the translator must understand not just Rosenzweig himself, but the cultural tradition he constantly refers to. Add to this that Rosenzweig was a true master of the German language, able to use all its resources and refinements, and you have a job that would send most translators running for the exits.
The Hallo translation certainly has its faults, but I would maintain that it is still the best choice for anyone who cannot read Rosenzweig in the original. I will give an example.
In Part One, Introduction, "On the Possibility of the Cognition of the All", heading "Man", subheading "Metaethics", we find the following sentence:
"Die Ethik, mochte sie noch so sehr grundsätzlich der Tat eine Sonderstellung allem Sein gegenüber geben wollen, riß in der Ausführung gleichwohl mit Notwendigkeit die Tat wieder hinein in den Kreis des wißbaren All; jede Ethik mündete schließlich wieder in eine Lehre von der Gemeinsachaft als einem Stück Sein."
This is rendered by Hallo as, "In principle ethics might assign to action a special status as against all being; no matter: in practice it drew action, of necessity as it were, back into the orbit of the cognitive All. Every ethics ultimately reconverged with a doctrine of the community as a unit of being."
For this same passage, Galli gives us: "If fundamentally it wanted to give a particular place of action in relation to all being, ethics could only reintegrate the action by the same necessity into the circle of the knowable All at the moment it elaborated it; every ethics ended by emerging again in a doctrine of the community that forms a part of being."
First of all, Galli confuses simple German grammar. "Der Tat eine Sonderstellung geben" means "to give the act (or action) a special position", not "to give a particular place of action". And in this instance "Stellung" is definitely not "place", but position or, as Hallo has it, status.
Then there are the phrases "reintegrate the action" and "at the moment it elaborated it". Neither of these is in the original German at all. They are both "hineininterpretiert" (interpreted into) Rosenzweig by some mysterious process of Galli's own devising. Likewise, "by the same necessity" should be simply "necessity" - there is no word that means "same" in Rosenzweig's German.
Try reading both the Hallo and the Galli version of this passage aloud, and ask yourself which makes more sense. I regret to say that for this reviewer, the Galli attempt is simply incomprehensible.
As a professional translator, I feel obliged to give my own version of the passage. Here it is: "No matter how fundamentally ethics might have wanted to grant the act a special position vis-à-vis the whole of being, nevertheless in practice it pulled the act, of necessity, back into the circle of the knowable All. Every ethics ultimately flowed back into a doctrine of the community in its role as part of being."
Until someone with a better grasp of German comes along to supersede Galli, you'll be better off with the often affected but still more reliable Hallo translation.