Part of the Jewish Encounter series
Poet, warrior, and king, David has loomed large in myth and legend through the centuries, and he continues to haunt our collective imagination, his flaws and inconsistencies making him the most approachable of biblical heroes. Robert Pinsky, former poet laureate of the United States, plumbs the depths of David’s life: his triumphs and his failures, his charm and his cruelty, his divine destiny and his human humiliations. Drawing on the biblical chronicle of David’s life as well as on the later commentaries and the Psalms—traditionally considered to be David’s own words—Pinsky teases apart the many strands of David’s story and reweaves them into a glorious narrative.
Under the clarifying and captivating light of Pinsky’s erudition and imagination, and his mastery of image and expression, King David—both the man and the idea of the man—is brought brilliantly to life.
About the Author
Robert Pinsky is the author of many books of poetry, including Gulf Music and The Figured Wheel, and of the award-winning translation The Inferno of Dante. His prose works include The Situation of Poetry and The Sounds of Poetry. He teaches at Boston University and lives in Massachusetts.
Praise for The Life of David…
"Episode by episode, Pinsky braids narrative together with literary interpretation and psychological conjecture, drawing out patterns of correspondence, filling gaps in the record with acutely engaged speculation. Bypassing the accretions of thirty centuries of piety and veneration, peering behind the Bible's spare record of action and speech, Pinsky seeks to discern the feelings and intentions of the living person from whom the myth of David sprang."
--William Deresiewicz, The New York Times Book Review
"A tour de force of literary imagination, strengthened with the author's wisdom and compassion. A truly amazing book."
--Ha Jin, author of Waiting
"A note-perfect performance, with all the generosity, understatement, and burnished eloquence familiar to readers of Pinsky's poems, translations, and essays. Only a true poet would be fit to tackle a subject of such centrality and deep fascination. Pinsky guides us through David's art and life in a luminous, moving, and compulsively readable narrative,"
--Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America
"Pinsky's unique blend of imagination, intellect, and narrative cunning has enabled him to conjure an unforgettable portrait. He has at once unraveled and created a figure of mythic power. A brilliant achievement."
--Stephen Greenblatt, author of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare