Desire for a Beginning

Dread of One Single End

2001. 7" x 4 1/4", 56 pages, 42 copies, which include special inserts, bound in boards with clamshell cover (of which 12 are hors commerce); printed offset. 2000 copies bound in paper wrappers

Edmond Jabes • Author

Rosmarie Waldrop • Translator 

Ed Epping • Images + Design

Jill Jevne • Binding

"All of [Edmond] Jabès's books explore the double wound of consciousness, our being set apart from the rest of creation in the glorious and murderous species of humankind, and set apart from our fellow humans as individuals. His work explores the nature of the book and word, of man defining himself through the word against all that challenges him: death, silence, the void, the infinite—or God, our symbol for all of these." —Rosmarie Waldrop, "When Silence Speaks"

Desire for a Beginning Dread of One Single End, translated by Rosmarie Waldrop, is a series of short aphoristic assertions permeated with a sense of melancholy and mortality. It is among the last substantial works of Jabès to be published in English. Ed Epping designed and treated the work with subtle digital images.

"I first read The Book of Questions twenty years ago, and my life was permanently changed by it. I can no longer think about the possibilities of literature without thinking of the example of Edmond Jabès. He is one of the great spirits of our time, a torch in the darkness." —Paul Auster

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