Skip to main content

The Book of Margins

The death of Edmond Jabès in January 1991 silenced one of the most compelling voices of the postmodern, post-Holocaust era. Jabès’s importance as a thinker, philosopher, and Jewish theologian cannot be overestimated, and his enigmatic style—combining aphorism, fictional dialogue, prose meditation, poetry, and other forms—holds special appeal for postmodern sensibilities.

In The Book of Margins, his most critical as well as most accessible book, Jabès is again concerned with the questions that inform all of his work: the nature of writing, of silence, of God and the Book. Jabès considers the work of several of his contemporaries, including Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Roger Caillois, Paul Celan, Jacques Derrida, Michel Leiris, Emmanuel Lévinas, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and his translator, Rosmarie Waldrop. This book will be important reading for students of Jewish literature, French literature, and literature of the modern and postmodern ages.

Born in Cairo in 1912, Edmond Jabès lived in France from 1956 until his death in 1991. His extensively translated and widely honored works include The Book of Questions and The Book of Shares. Both of these were translated into English by Rosmarie Waldrop, who is also a poet.

Religion and Postmodernism series

222 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1993

Religion and Postmodernism

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Religion: Judaism

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword
1. It Goes Its Way
Page without Date, Undatable
First Step
Intimate Distance
The Eternity of Stones
The Moment After
Wing and Bond
On Fear, I
One Fear, II and III
Of the Recovery and the Reservations of the Text
The State of the Game (Michel Leiris)
The Unconditional (Maurice Blanchot)
The Absoluteness of Death
2. Doubly Dependent on the Said
The Bet
Intimate Distance, II
The Point
Wrinkles of the Day
Carte Blanche
The Merits of Comfort: Its Portion of Night
The Oval
The Setting - The Opening
May He Rest in Thus
Writing in Motion (Short Reply to a Questionnaire of La Quinzaine Littéraire: Does Writing Have a Gender?)
1977 (Reply to a Questionnaire of Les Nouvelles Littéraires)
The Invention of the Word
The Wall
Memory of Paul Celan
The Man with the Secret
(Max Jacob)
Days of Wrinkles
The Infallible Decree
(Jacket copy for L’Arrêt de mort by Maurice Blanchot, Collection "L’Imaginaire," Gallimard)
There Is No Trace But in the Desert
(With Emmanuel Lévinas)
Extract from a Speech
(given on April 21, 1982, in Paris, at the Foundation for French Judaism)
Extract from a Speech
(given on the occasion of a day in honor of P. P. Pasolini, Milan, May 2, 1983)
The Word of the Book
The Naked Sword
(Michel Leiris)
The Unconditional, II
(Maurice Blanchot)
Louis-René des Forêts or The Unease of the Question
In the Margins of Yaël
(From the Rediscovered Draft of a Letter to Gabriel Bounoure)
In Farewell


Academy of American Poets: Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press