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Book Review

The Red Adam

by Mark Mirsky 


THE COLLIDESCOPE, December 31, 2023

Reviewed by George Salis

From "The Yoke of the Kingdom: An Interview With Mark Jay Mirsky – Part 1"

The Five Books of Moses refuse to let us imagine another world and force us to trust this one, and surprisingly, one of the first rabbinic codes, the Mishnah, repeats this warning. In the novel I published with Sun & Moon, The Red Adam, based not only on Kabbalah but the brilliant scholarly work of Gershom Scholem in Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, who influenced many other writers, and particularly Borges, I cite those lines: "Whosoever speculates upon four things, a pity for him! He is as though he had not come into the world, [to wit], what is above, what is beneath, what before, what after." (The Mishnah, Haggigah, 2:13). Of course, the writer is the pitiful scribe who takes that curse upon himself, herself. I remember in Rio de Janeiro, touching on the subject of evil as Scholem traced it in the mystical texts of rabbinic Judaism at a small reception, with the Brazilian authoress, Clarice Lispector, and her stepping into the middle of the room, her considerable body shaking as she cried out, “Eevil, oh Mark, I so want to doo, eeevil!” And how I have savored anew each time I re-read Cynthia Ozick’s The Pagan Rabbi how she evokes the sexual rapture of Greek mythology and its forbidden terrain.... READ MORE

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