Modernist Hasidim (Martin Buber & Leonard Baskin)

 

006 007

I love these black ink drawings by Leonard Baskin gracing the white or cream cover of the first paperback editions of Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim: Early Masters and Tales of the Hasidim: Later Masters. Perfectly handsome volumes, they tells us a little something about the American reception history of Buber and Jewish philosophy. This is what Judaism was supposed to look like, the mystical tradition. I used to think the images were cloying, but I think I understand better now that Baskin knew what he was doing. The ink is brutal and delicate. The figures are very modern, very savage, a little Chinese. The red typeface is ultra crisp. The lips and the teeth frame the open mouth of a deep abyss. Published in paper in 1961, the books cost $1.65 each.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Modernist Hasidim (Martin Buber & Leonard Baskin)

  1. nitzan4747 says:

    The top one looks like a corpse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s